New Shop Feature

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There is some very exciting news that I wanted to share with all of you. For the past few months, I have been developing my website and blog. I probably went through hundreds of themes before I was satisfied with the one I am currently using.

The newest addition is the Shop feature. You can now purchase some Alaska inspired handmade and gift items directly from the website using PayPal. The Shop page also offers another payment option, which is through Etsy, and you can find the link on the page as well. Please feel free to send me feedback and if it works well for you or not.

I will be adding more items to the shop by next month. I also have some knitting patterns in the works for the blog and for publishing. I am so excited. Stay tuned!

Happy making!

So You Want to Publish Your Pattern?

This year, I am finally doing it! I have been wanting to publish my own knitting patterns for a while and I think I am now ready to dive in. Having said that, it is only appropriate that it be one of the very first patterns I have written back in 2014. I called it the Ridges Button Hat.

Starting it out, I experimented with a couple kinds of yarn and discovered how different the finished garments can be:

  • Lion Brand’s Heartland – 100% acrylic in colors Great Smoky Mountains and Black Canyon – Hats came out with a nice drape to them, not that they will hang since they were not slouchy hats.
  • Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice – 100% acrylic in colors Kelly Green, Rust and Eggplant – Hats turned out to be a bit sturdier than the first ones and they felt thicker as well.

Now that I am trying to publish the pattern to share with everyone, I made some improvements on the pattern that I think helped define the design especially the crown of the hat.

The New Name

With an improved pattern, I have also changed its name to Alaska Ridges Beanie, inspired by Alaska’s gorgeous mountain ridges and beautiful terrain. This hat uses the basic knit and purl stitches and a few decrease stitches. With this revised pattern, I knitted a couple using Malabrigo Yarns’ Washted in color Sunset and Rios in color Azules, which are both 100% Superwash Merino Wool. I think these yarns best complement the design and texture of the pattern.

When I first started knitting, it never dawned on me that one day, I will write my own patterns, design my own knits and publish them. My own written patterns are scribbles on several notebooks and hard to decipher, most of them still are. So what changed? It takes a lot of work to be organized and it is quite a challenge for some of us. But I will admit that being organized is key. I go through my patterns one at a time and try to retest them, tweak and finalize them with appropriate measurements. Definitely the first step.

So stand by for future announcements. I am hoping to get through the final steps of this process and will be calling for knitters who are willing to test this hat pattern soon! I am so excited! Thanks for dropping by!

Happy making!

Mini Trees in Crochet Planters | A Photo Tutorial

So it is officially 41 days before Christmas and I know some of you will agree that it is simply not the same this year. We all know that everyone is coping differently with regards to the pandemic and some are doing better than others. It is a fact though that a lot of people have turned to crafting or DIY projects since we have more time in our hands. I certainly think that this is a good time to explore our creative side.

If you know how to crochet, this is a perfect project for you. If you don’t, you can still make yourself one using a ready made pot or planter, whichever your preference is. The options are endless!

CROCHET PLANTER

To crochet the planter, here are the materials that you need:

  1. Crochet hook, M, 9.00 mm
  2. Super Bulky Yarn 6, 2 colors of your choice
  3. Yarn needle for sewing in the ends
  4. Tape measure

NOTE: It is helpful to measure your work after every round. It is preferred for your planter to have an extra 1/2″ – 3/4″ margin in circumference compared to the styrofoam ball you are using, to also accommodate for the felt that will be used to wrap the foam in.

  1. Round 1: Working with 2 strands of the super bulky yarn, chain 4. Join with a slip stitch on the first chain. Chain 2, yarn over in the chain loop, do 1 hdc (half double crochet) in the loop, chain 1. Do 2 hdc, chain 1. Repeat this 2 more times, join with a slip stitch. Round 1 done. Total: 1 2-ch, 7 hdc
  2. Round 2: To begin round 2, chain 2 and 2 hdc in first chain. Chain1, 2 hdc in each chain after. Round 2 done. Total: 1 2-ch, 14 hdc
  3. Round 3: Round 3 is turning it up to form the planter. This round should have a total of 1 2-ch and 20 hdc. The technique that I found was to do 1 hdc in every hdc and throw an extra hdc after every 3 or 4 hdc’s. A good trick is to gauge and make sure that the planter sides are going straight up. So if the stitches are getting tighter to manage, throw an extra hdc. But keep in mind that this round should have a total of 1 2-ch and 20 hdc.
  4. Round 4: Round 4 will have the similar pattern as round 3, only since you already are at 21 stitches, there is no need to add extra ones. Do 1 hdc on every hdc. Total: 1 2-ch and 20 hdc
  5. Rounds 5-6: For rounds 5 and 6, repeat Round 4. At the end of the round, tuck in with a slip stitch. Cut off yarn.
  6. Round 7-8: For rounds 7 and 8, switch to second color. Repeat Round 4. Slip stitch and fasten off. Weave in ends.
What your planter should look like. Of course, you can modify the color(s) if you want it to be a solid color or two-toned.

PLANTING YOUR MINI TREE

Okay, so now that you have your planter, you are ready for your mini tree. These are the materials that you will need:

MATERIALS:

  1. Crochet Planter or any desired pot/planter, preferably 3 1/2″ bottom circumference, 4″ height
  2. Cardboard rounds, 3″ circumference
  3. Faux greenery of your choice
  4. Glue gun, glue sticks
  5. Basic felt 9″x12″, preferably green
  6. Spanish moss to cover the felt
  7. Styrofoam ball, 2.8 in” circumference (not shown on picture)

PREPARING THE PLANTER AND THE STYROFOAM

[1] Using the glue gun, position your planter by putting glue on the center for the cardboard round.
[2] Once the cardboard is in place, add glue to the center where the foam ball will be.
[3] Position the greenery of your choice on the foam ball by poking a small hole to the center, about 2 inches deep.
[4] On the center of the felt, cut a small opening slightly bigger than the hole on the foam, and then run a slit on one side of the felt.
[5] Apply glue around the hole on the foam ball down to the sides, about 1 – 1 1/2 inches.
[6] Cover the top of foam with the felt, overlapping the slits a couple inches to control the excess felt when inserting the foam into the planter.

PUTTING IN THE STYROFOAM

[1] To put the foam in, you might need to wiggle it’s way inside the planter.
[2] The planter should be snug but a bit stretchy.
[3] This is how it looks like after the foam is in, before tucking in the excess felt.
[4] With felt tucked in on one side.
[5] The planter will look like this while you are tucking in the felt. Adjust and tuck the excess to the bottom corners to make it even.
[6] This is how it should look like with the felt on all sides tucked in.

And this is how the planter should look like with the felt tucked in all sides.
  1. To place your mini tree, apply a generous amount of glue in the prepared hole, and insert the mini tree into position.
  2. Apply more glue on the sides as necessary to secure the mini tree into the foam.
  3. After a few minutes, apply glue all over the exposed felt, including the sides by the inner planter wall.
  4. Gather enough moss to cover the exposed felt, add glue as necessary. Press moss onto the felt surface and onto the sides, tucking some of them in to make the planter full.

And that is it! Voila! You now have your own Mini Tree in Crochet Planter. This is perfect for gifting this Christmas and holiday season, or to decorate your living space. For finished Mini Trees in Crochet Planters, you can visit my Etsy shop and purchase from there.

You are most welcome to give any feedback and please contact me if you have any questions regarding the tutorial and I would be more than happy to assist you.

Happy making!