Monday, September 18, 2017

Marly Bird's Yarn Pooling Made Easy Book Review and Giveaway!

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Leisure Arts to complete my review, but was not financially compensated in any way to write a favorable review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.



I'm beyond thrilled and excited that I was able to be apart of Marly Bird's Blog Tour of her New book called Yarn Pooling Made Easy!  How could you pass on the opportunity to review a book that is full of "new craze" patterns that are very easy to follow, by none other than the spokeswoman for Red Heart Yarn, follow blogger, hosts the Yarn Thing Podcast, and has many publishings under her belt, the one and only: Marly Bird?!  Can't think of anyone? Ya, me either! 


 Guess what else???

You can WIN a copy of this book for yourself on my blog, one of the other bloggers apart of this tour, or through Marly's YouTube channel.  (I'll go into more detail about how to enter towards the end.)


What is Yarn Pooling?

Yarn Pooling, or also known as planned pooling or color pooling, is a technique used with variegated yarn to achieve different color variations to form a pattern, mainly an argyle one. This "craze" hit the crochet world a little over a year ago, and it definitely peaked my interest.  So being very green to the whole process, I researched just a tad on how to do it, and then set out to try to make something that would look argyle.  Now my first attempt was a Huge failure! I thought I was doing pretty good with my 2nd attempt, until the pattern went wonky and was no longer argyle (see photo on left below).  This was BEYOND frustrating to me, and I'm not one to give up on something, until I achieve the goal I was after!  So I was some what satisfied with my final product (see photo on right below), but I knew it still wasn't right.  I then pushed planned pooling in the back of my mind, until Marly made a mention of her new book she was releasing.


Yarn Pooling Made Easy Review:

After my previous failed attempts, I was so pleased to see how Marly broke it down in the book to achieve the perfect argyle look, Every time, with different variegated yarns!  She took the guess work out of how to create stunning visual items; and for that, I'm thankful.

I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when the mailman dropped off my copy of Yarn Pooling Made Easy!  In fact I was so excited, I ripped open that package while I was walking to pick up my oldest daughter from school.  
As I thumbed through the book, I was instantly drawn to the TWO baby item patterns in the book, since I'm in the final stretch of my pregnancy to welcoming our 4th bundle of joy!  Right off the bat, I decided I wanted to tackle either the Baby Cocoon on page 17 or the Car Seat Cover on page 13.

 
Aren't those the cutest designs ever?!

But after wrestling with my gauge and going up quite a few hook sizes then what is recommended in the book to achieve the correct size for the item, I decided to go with the Baby Cocoon on pg 17. 

I love that each design in the book provides the pattern's skill level, a finished item size, shopping list of materials needed, gauge information, stitch guide, the pattern, plenty of notes, and finishing/edging sections.  If you're curious to what colorways were used in the book, then simply turn to page 32 for  all the yarn information for all 10 patterns in the book. 

When shopping for some variegated yarn to complete my review, I fell in love with Red Heart's Wildflower.

But I was weary because this colorway wasn't used in the book.  So I figured, oh what the heck, and got it anyways for my project.  Thankfully, Marly goes over yarn pooling on her YouTube channel, as well as on her blog, since I needed it broken down for me.

I honestly don't know if it was pooling correctly while attempting to make the Baby Cocoon.  It just seemed kind of "off" to me. You can be the judge (see the photo below).  I ultimately think that my color pooling stitch counts were off, or my tension was way off somewhere.  Either way, I wasn't happy with how it was turning out.


So I frogged it all :-(  and decided to revisit the gauge section and try another pattern from the book. Honestly, planned pooling is all about the numbers in your color sequence.  You have to really pay attention to your sequence number, the hook size you use, what kind of yarn, and then write it all down.  Once I did that, I was able to successfully apply my numbers to the Full Scarf pattern on page 3 with the colorway Wildflower.


The pattern layout looks MUCH better!  Don't you think?  
Remember that yarn pooling has a learning curve, and it's OK to keep trying until you get it right!  I know for me personally, it was really tough to change my tension in the middle of a row in order to make my colors fall where they needed to - but that's how planned pooling works.


You're probably saying to yourself, all this info about your journey discovering yarn pooling is great, BUT how do I WIN my own copy of the book???

Giveaways:

Not Only do you have the chance to be entered to win a copy of the book on my blog, but you can also stop by any of the other blogs on the tour for a chance to win, or stop by Marly's YouTube channel to win. [Giveaway available to persons 18 years or older, living in the US.]

Enter for a chance to win here:


If you can't wait to get your copy of the book, then click HERE.



 BONUS - Red Heart Yarn is getting in on the fun too!
 Watch Marly's video ~ 1 lucky winner will receive a copy of the book PLUS all the yarn needed to make Every single pattern in the book!  That's pretty amazing!



Blog Tour:

Make sure you stop by the other lovely ladies apart of this blog tour for more chances to win, and to see what their journey was with yarn pooling!

Calleigh's Clips & Crochet Creations: September 5, 2017
ACCROchet: September 6, 2017
The Stitchin’ Mommy: September 7, 2017
Crochet Memories: September 8, 2017
Pattern Paradise: September 11, 2017
5 Little Monsters: September 12, 2017
Yarnutopia: September 13, 2017
Same DiNamics Crochet: September 14, 2017
Nicki’s Homemade Crafts: September 15, 2017
Looping With Love: September 18, 2017
Underground Crafter: September 19, 2017


*NOTE: Winners will be chose at the discretion of each blogger host, and by their rules. All winners will be notified within one week of the last tour date. All winners will need to respond to the host with their information by 9/25/17 or they will forfeit their prize. All books will be sent at the same time at the end of the tour, regardless of when the winner was chosen. Winner must have a US address.


I can't wait to see what you make! Please share with me on my Facebook :-)

Friday, August 25, 2017

NEW Pattern Release! And more to come!!!

It's been awhile since I've been punching out patterns to be tested - yes, multiple patterns ;-)  
Maybe it's the crazy pregnant hormones kicking in, or me starting to nest, and realizing I only have 7 weeks left to get everything in order before our bundle of joy arrives!  Either way, I have 1 pattern that is being released today, another that is still being tested until Sunday, and then 2 more patterns currently being typed up from my chicken scratch into my pattern format, and then I have about 5 or 6 more designs floating in my head that I need to work out on paper and in yarn - then of coarse type them up to share with you :-)

Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn't mean that this isn't the perfect time to start making some oversized dishcloths/washcloths!  Especially with Christmas *gasp* only EXACTLY 4 MONTHS AWAY from Today!!!  That's seriously not even that far away from a crafter's perspective. 

This pattern uses the wonderful texture of the Blanket Stitch; which is great for gently exfoliating your face, or acting as micro scrubbies to get your dishes sparkling clean. 


Can you keep a secret???
Keep your eyes out for my Next pattern to be released, because the pattern being released today, the Oversized Dishcloth, along with my next pattern release, Not Knit Soap Saver, will be perfect to pair together with a nice lavish soap, fizzy bath bomb or warm sugar scrub, maybe a scrumptious candle, all in a pretty woven basket to create relaxing spa gift basket. A quick, easy, elegant present to stock up on for potential holiday gifts that are around the corner ;-)




Now until 11:59pm EST, the Oversized Dishcloth is HALF OFF, No Coupon code needed!

Head on over to Ravelry for this pattern, while it's still Half Off!
(Just click the colored word above: Ravelry, and you'll be redirected to the pattern listing.)



As always, I'd LOVE to see your finished items that you make from my patterns!  So please make sure that you add your items to the "Project" section of the pattern.  I can't wait to see what colorway you choose!!


Happy Hooking :-)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Giveaway Time!

Now that I'm no longer working a 8-4, Mon-Fri, for over the past year and a half, I'm EXCITED to be back in Full swing with Looping with Love!

Facebook now has the option to link a group you admin to your business page.  So I thought, what better way to share Exclusive pattern codes, giveaways, and CALs then with my very own Looping with Love Crochet Group on Facebook!


To really get the group up and running and active, I thought a giveaway would be the perfect opportunity to kick off the group!

Here's how it works:
- If you're not a member of Looping with Love's Crochet Group, then join HERE!
- Once you're a member, add all of your crochet and knitting friends to the group!  (Please make sure that said friend actually wants to be added to another group.)

Giveaway will run until 11:59pmEST on Fri, July 21st, 2018.

So you're probably asking yourself - what do I get for adding members?

There'll be 2 winners from this: a first place winner and 
a runner up!

First Place Winner: is the member that ADDS the MOST new members to the group, please check with the person first that they'd like to be added, will win a choice of 2 free pattern from my Ravelry shop OR a free polymer clay handle covered hook ($15 value for free, but winner would be responsible for the shipping cost, if they're not local to the Western Mass area)

Second runner up: is the member that adds the 2nd most members to the group, and  will receive a choice of 1 free pattern from my Ravelry shop OR 20% Off a polymer clay handle covered hook, and winner would also be responsible for shipping as well, if they're not local to the Western Mass area.

Soooo who's gonna win??? 


Disclaimer: Facebook is in no way affiliated with this giveaway.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

We Need Your VOTES!!!

It's been awhile since I've been blogging - and a LOT has happened since last time I've posted....

but what better way to kick off blogging again then diving head first into a competition?!  

Yup, that's right - I'm in a contest! A designing contest - against 4 other awesome crocheters! 


Sooo, you may be curious who are the competitors?  Well, they are all members of the Hodge Podge Crochet Group on facebook ~ who was created by none other Tanya Naser of Hodge Podge Crochet. 
So I'm in a HODGE PODGE SHOWDOWN!  Round 5 to be exact.  

The designers competing are:
~Myself (of coarse!)
~Shelly Jo of Tangled & Tied
~Michelle Wulf of Magic Mommy's Yarning
~Betty Margaret Johnson of Betty Johnson's Crochet Shop
~Daile Rois of Dragon Fey Designs


What an exciting round it has been so far!  
I approached this design just like any other design - scribbling ideas down, charting stitches out, working them up, frogging out what I didn't care for, and starting over and over again; as I'm sure my competitors did the same!  
I mean, just look at what I'm up against:



^^ So there's ALL 5 Entries!^^

Aren't they Fantastic?!  So now to get down to the nitty gritty....

The designers need Your VOTES!!!  Here's how you can vote:

> CLICK HERE!!! <

It'll redirect you to a board on Pinterest that was created for this competition.

Then you'll need to sign into your Pinterest.  If you don't have one, then sign up for one - It's Free!

Next "Heart" (like) AND "Repin" (save) your Favorite Baby Blanket Design:

Just use your mouse to hoover/hold your finger on the picture on your cell phone over your favorite baby blanket design:


Pinterest App View
Pinterest Desktop View








OR














Each Heart and Repin count as 1 Vote EACH!  So make sure you give your 
favorite design 2 Votes

You can repin your favorite to Any board you wish.  Just make sure you Save it once you select the board you want it in ;-) 

Voting ends: Sat, Sept 24, 2016 @ midnight PST


So GET YOUR 2 VOTES IN!  Then Share with all of your family, friends, yarn lovers, etc. to help your fav Baby Blanket design Win! 

#HPShowdown5


All pattern designs will be available on Ravelry on Sun, Sept 25, 2016. 
But stay tuned for your chance to win my pattern once the competition is over!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

2K Fan CELEBRATION!!!

****DRUM ROLL PLEASE****

It's GIVEAWAY Time!

I'm SOOO EXCITED that my Facebook page has over 2,000 fans now!!! So I reached out to some friends, who happen to be some amazing designers and/or crocheters, to help me turn my giveaway into a paaarrrrrtty! I'm beyond certain you'll absolutely positively LOVE the prizes that will be offered during this giveaway!

After some technical difficulties with Google, I was Finally able to set up a rafflecopter for my giveaway.  It may have taken me practically all day - well, in between taking care of my 7 mo, my 7 yo, crochet hook covering, and household chores, but Chrome decided we were friends again, and let me sign into my blog :-)

TO ENTER: All you have to do is scroll down til you see the rafflecopter box. Then just click on the option you wish to do for an entry. Keep in mind that some options count for multiple entries, and some can also be done daily as well ;-)
*This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Looping with Love and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for prize notification and fulfillment purposes. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion will be directed to Looping with Love, not Facebook.*

Check out all the Amazing Prizes being (that were) offered!


















Winners have been chosen for the 2K Fan Celebration! 
CONGRATULATIONS to all of the winners!

The vendors will be contacting you via email, to the email that was used to enter the giveaway with rafflecopter. (So if you signed in with fb, then it'll be the same email you use to sign into fb with. Or if you signed into rafflecopter with a different email, then that email will be the one that the vendor is emailing your prize info to.) Keep an eye out on your inboxes wink emoticon

For privacy reasons, the winners on rafflecopter will be listed as their first name, and first letter of your last name, according to how you entered the giveaway with rafflecopter.

**Winners PLEASE reply to the vendor's email within 72 hrs to inquire about your winning(s)! If a vendor has not heard back from a winner(s) within 72 hrs (by Tues, Sept 29th, 2015, afternoon), then I will draw a new winner(s) for said vendor.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you for celebrating with me; and I look forward to our Next giveaway!

Happy Hooking!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Over 2,000 Looping with Love's FB fans!

It's been a long time coming, but my facebook page FINALLY made it over the 2,000 fan mark, and I couldn't be happier!!!  So what better way to celebrate then with a Big Giveaway!  I reached out to my fellow hookers to join me with my celebration, and I got an overwhelming responses of "I'm in!"  Right now I'm compiling all of the Awesome generous prizes from fellow crocheters into one amazing album (which will be posted on facebook, as well as on my blog).

Stay Tuned for great pattern packs, finished items, and shop credits!

Giveaway will run Sept 16-25, 2015

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Attaching Pieces to a Hat Seamlessly

I'm not sure about you, but I'm not a fan of being able to see my stitch work resulting from attaching separate crochet items together.  I have also found that after normal wear and tear of character hats, that over time a running stitch becomes loose, thus leaving certain pieces (eyes, mouths, etc) to pull away, and kind of hang off of the hat.  That to me is very unattractive, and decided to find a better way to attach separate smaller pieces to a larger piece more efficiently, and seamlessly.

I have used the mattress stitch for attaching blanket squares together for a seamless look, and thought I could use the same stitch concept to attach pieces/appliques to a larger item. After countless failed tutorial searches for attaching together crochet pieces using the mattress stitch, I did the only logical thing I could think of - I created my own way to use the concept of the mattress stitch to attach smaller crochet pieces to larger crochet pieces. The one catch was how do I make it Truly seamless, where my stitch work won't show through on the inside/backside of the item? The answer: work Through the larger piece's completed stitches when attaching the smaller piece to it.

Let's get down to How to attach facial features to a character and/or animal hat. The tutorials below show  how to use the mattress stitch to attach flat pieces on top of each other, but you can use the same stitch concept to attach 3D pieces as well. If your 3D piece is an ear, then work the stitch down the front And back side of the same stitches on the ear. That way your ears will stand straight out/up, without the need to double up your crochet ear pieces to make them "stiff." This is how I attach all of my ears on hats ;-)

Materials Needed:
  • A Completed Hat
  • Smaller facial features to attach
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Long Ball Point Pins
  • Scissors

Next you'll need to complete your facial features with an Invisible Join.  I have a quick photo tutorial below of how to complete this seamless join, or you can Watch my video HERE.




Once your piece has been closed up with an invisible join, then you'll have to pin your piece in place to where you'd like it to be on your hat. (I have used yellow long ball point pins to attach this sock monkey's mouth onto the hat.)



Now the mattress stitch is done in about 5 steps for each stitch you'll be securing to your hat. (For this demo, it'll be every single white half double crochet stitch of the sock moneky's mouth.) 5 steps per stitch may sound like a lot, but once you get the hang of it, it goes rather quickly. 

First, you'll be starting in the stitch to the Right of where your working end is currently coming out from (photo 1). Slightly lift up the piece you're attaching, and slide your needle under 1 piece of yarn from a completed stitch of your hat. This technique is now working through the completed stitch from the hat, and Not working straight down through the hat's stitches, into the inside of the hat, and back out again (photo 1). Now you'll Skip over the next stitch (the one where your working yarn is coming from), and slide your needle under the top loops of the next stitch to the left from the outside of the piece in (photo 2). You just completed your initial attaching stitch :-) Now the rest of the attaching stitches will be worked as follows:
Insert your needle in the stitch to the right of your working yarn from the inside of your piece out, and while slightly lifting up the edge of the piece to be attached, slide your needle through the middle of a completed stitch of the hat (photo 3). Now skip over the next stitch (where your working yarn is coming out of), and insert your needle under the top loops from the outside of the piece in in the next stitch to the left (photo 4). Tug on the working yarn (the yarn piece in the middle) to make sure the facial feature is as close to the hat as possible (photo 5).  Then pull the end of the yarn (the yarn piece all the way on the left) until the gap between the facial feature and hat is gone (photo 6). 

Continue repeating the process of photos 3-6 for every stitch around your facial feature, while minding your pin points.



Once you have completed the mattress stitch for every outside stitch of your facial feature, remove the pins you used to secure the piece in place. Now you'll need to fasten off your tail. Again, this method of securing the tail is worked not only through stitches, but underneath the facial feature stitches and above the hat stitches.

First, slide your needle through the middle of the outermost stitches of your facial feature (photos A & B). Now, you'll be doubling back over stitches to secure your work; your needle needs to go back underneath a few stitches you just went through the middle of, being careful to not snag or go through the hat stitches (photo C). Go back through the middle of the stitches that you just went underneath of (photo D). Then work your needle to go back underneath a few stitches you just went through the middle of, being careful to not snag or go through the hat stitches (photo E). Then finally slide your needle through the middle of the very first stitches you went through (photo F).  Then hold the tail taught, and snip off any extra yarn.



Your attached facial feature should now be completely flush with your completed hat.


When you look on the inside of the hat, you shouldn't see any of your attaching stitch marks.




I hope this tutorial has helped you, and made attaching smaller crochet pieces to a larger crochet piece a tad easier. Please share with me any completed items you've made using this technique!

Happy Hooking :-)

Here's the finished sock monkey hat :-)
(the ears were attached with the mattress stitch in the front and then the back of 5 stitches of the ears to the hat.)




Looping with Love