Giveaway, Link Party and more…

I have been very busy this week – I thought things would calm down after the blogging challenges finished but instead – they have been very busy!

I recently released a pattern to my pattern testers –  I have 20 lovely ladies currently testing out my new design:

crochet hat looks knit

I read a very informative ebook by Sara Duggan,

Hooking for Cash: 10 Ways to Make Money with Your Crochet Blog2nd Edition,  Author: Sara Duggan; Price: $4.99 (USD)
and have 1 copy to giveaway on my blog (giveaway ends today! in just over 11 hours). You can enter HERE.

I finished A Crochet Bucket List Project –

BABY SLIPPERS 2

Announced the most clicked links from my 1st “Link & Share Wednesdays – so…what’s on your hook” party.

Link and share Wednesdays week 1 most clicked entries

You can add your link to this week’s party HERE.

I posted about some of the August CALs I have come across (if you know of any I missed please let me know!):

Crochet-at-Home-Stitchy-Nesting-Dolls-beauty-shot1

and today’s post is my first “Free Pattern Friday Round-up!”.  I have included 5 links to free patterns for crochet dolls.

Free pattern friday round-up with oombawka design crochet dolls week 1

I also spent hours (and I mean HOURS) trying to figure out how to add a weekly Newsletter option to my blog- it is a visual newsletter showing a photo from each post I make during the week – each image can be clicked to take you to the post – that way you can ‘pick & choose’ any that are of interest and pop over to learn more 🙂
If you are interested please sign-up for the newsletter on my homepage HERE– it is delivered on Saturdays each week.

I hope you all had lovely weeks – and enjoy your weekends –

I can’t believe it is already August – my daughter starts JK this September – I am so nervous (and she is so excited!)

Happy Crocheting!

Rhondda

Day 26 to 29 of the CBB Blogging Challenge

ive been hooked large

Day 26:

kara bracelet GOOD

A Crochet Bucket List Project – Flower Bracelet

Day 27:

jamcal use3

African Sun Square – A Jam Made CAL and Crochet Bucket List Project

Day 28:

LOVE THIS ONE

Photography Sunday – Hot, Hot Summer Days

Day 29:

DARLA HEADBAND OUTSIDE CUTE

A Crochet Bucket List Project (times two!) – Rose and Baby Head Band

Remember you still have time to enter my giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 2 available copies of the August 2013 Inspired Crochet Digital Magazine!  You can enter daily!  Giveaway ends July 31, 2013 at 11:59pm EST (Canada GMT-5)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and enjoyed some time playing with their yarn!  I’m currently working on a pattern test for a fabulous hat Designed by Jen of Jam Made and designing a hat pattern of my own – I will be looking for some pattern testers soon 🙂

Happy Crocheting!

Rhondda

Oombawka Design

Day 17 to Day 25 of the CBB Blogging Challenge

I’m in the final week of the blogging challenge now! Woohoo!

Here are the links to the last 9 posts – many of them are part of ‘a crochet bucket list project’ – and most contain at least one link to a free crochet pattern.

ive been hooked large

I’m also hosting a giveaway 🙂 See the post for Day 23 for details!!

Day 17:  My Crochet Bucket List – Tau – the pattern

Image

Day 18:   My Crochet Bucket List – Sleeping Buddies

sleepingbuddies2

Day 19:   Crochet Bucket List – Masa Bag

masa bag

Day 20:  My Crochet “Bucket List” – Little Flower Brooch

2 purple and white

Day 21:  Photography Sunday – Jackie’s Garden

echinecia

Day 22:   Sponsored Post – Leisure Arts Publication – Cute Little Animals by Amy Gaines

CHAOS A CAT LEISURE ARTS

Day 23:  Giveaway Time! Sponsored by Inspired Crochet.

1-AugustCover (1)

Day 24:  A Crochet Bucket List Project – Southern and Sassy

southern and sassy HAT2

Day 25:  A Crochet Bucket List Project – Cherry Delicious Pot Holder

CHERRY GOOD

My friend Jen is also holding a giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 3 copies of her new 8″ afghan square pattern – Blooming ’76

I was lucky enough to be able to test this square – I love it! and you can do so much with it 🙂

Jam made: Crochet Giveaway

Blooming 76 Pattern Test

I hope everyone had a lovely week – and you could find something here to inspire you.

Happy Crocheting!

Rhondda

Oombawka Design

Day 3 – Crochet Business Blogging Challenge – Crochet Bucket List – Amigurumi BB Doll

Here’s the link to today’s blog post:  Crochet Bucket List – Amigurumi BB Doll

In order to provide some value in each post – I decided to start working through some of my Crochet Bucket List projects –

Today’s post is about the “Dolly” I crocheted using AmigurumiBB’s pattern.

It is a fabulous pattern and my daughter loves her “Dolly”.

Dolly - Darla's Amigurumi BB Doll

Dolly – Darla’s Amigurumi BB Doll

If you “click” on the photo above it will take you to my Ravelry Project Page.

Happy Crocheting!

Rhondda

Oombawka Design

My Crochet “Bucket List”

I am very grateful for the internet and my computer.  They allow me to ‘collect’ and ‘shelve’ hundreds (perhaps thousands by now!) of inspiring crochet patterns (both free and purchased) – electronically…and away from the ‘eyes’ of my friends and family…

I now have an extensive “bucket list” of crochet projects I yearn to make…if I only had the extra ‘time’ to make them!

I was fortunate this month when Jen announced the Jam Made CAL project for June would be this free pattern:

Crochet Giraffe Pattern – Designed by I Love Button’s By Emma – 

Photo Credit: I Love Button’s By Emma

This has been on my “bucket list” for months – I am thrilled to say I can now “cross it off”!

Living in Ontario, Canada, it is very difficult to find 3.00 mm crochet hooks. They are not considered ‘standard-sized” hooks here.

Lately I’ve been crocheting some amigurumi/softie patterns written by fabulous Australian Designers and since the 3.00 mm hook is unavailable to me (unless I find and order one online) I have been substituting a 4.00 mm crochet hook and worsted weight yarn for the suggested hook and yarn in the patterns.

It creates a slightly bigger finished project – but for softies – bigger just means more huggable 😉

For amigurumi, or softies I prefer to use a sturdier yarn (i.e. a yarn that can be used successfully to make slippers).  I really never understood the difference until I tried to substitute a yarn with the same gauge and weight to make one of Tara’s fabulous Oma House Slippers patterns – the yarn worked just fine and my slippers were super soft – but the slippers did not withstand the wear and tear of regular daily use…they became fuzzy and worn very quickly.

I therefore prefer yarns that are stiffer when making amigurumi (and slippers!) especially when it is intended for little hands 🙂 Yarns like Red Heart Super Saver, Bernat Super Value and Michaels Craft Smart…

At first I had a bit of difficulty following Emma’s pattern because the end numbers in the brackets didn’t always match-up with the written instructions – and I normally follow the ‘stitch-count’ rule-of-thumb – making each row/round match the ‘stitch-count’ at the end of the line.

Emma noted that this would be the case in her initial instructions so I was prepared – I just felt awkward switching mind-sets – but once I followed her written instructions and ignored the count – I was able to proceed without issue 😉 if the repeats didn’t match up, I just used sc stitches to fill in the left-over stitches to the end of the round…

I’ve noticed that she has now updated her pattern with new instructions/corrections so it is likely that all the numbers now match the instructions going forward 🙂

Other than my own mentally created speedbumps 😉 this pattern is a gem – one that has moved from my “bucket list” to my “favorites”.  In fact, I have already crocheted three of these lovelies!

I made one for my daughter:

She was VERY well-received – named Mimi – and then nicknamed “Giraffy”.

The next day, my Step-Mom asked me if I could make 2 for her to give as gifts for family friends.

I enjoyed the pattern so much – I agreed 🙂 Here are the two I hooked up for Maggie:

and now, I think my son wants one too…I’ve seen him dragging poor Mimi down the hall by a leg a few times…so there may be a fourth giraffy coming soon 😉

This is an excellent pattern.  It is very easy to follow and the final product is just so cute!!  It has become a favorite in my household – and with friends and family!

You can also find Emma’s pattern here (if you like to queue things in Ravelry):

Here are some “Tips & Tricks” I used when hooking up Emma’s fabulous pattern:

1.  When ending each round (before switching to the new colour) use an “invisible join” method to finish the colour round.  I learned of this technique when I participated in Winkie’s Mandala CAL this year and it is an invaluable tool for mandalas and any type of crochet in the round!!!  Here is the link to Wink’s page (where I learned about the technique) and the link to Sarah London’s tutorial.

2.  When joining my new round of colour I pulled up a loop and chained one stitch in the back-loop-only of the last stitch, of the last round.  Then I sc (single crocheted) around, as per pattern instructions, until I got to that last stitch and in that last stitch (where I chained one to join in the back-loop-only) I single crocheted through both loops.  It tended to hide the join a bit better for me.  Next time I will try this technique – Knotless Standing Single Crochet.

3.  I used ‘invisible decreases’ – something I learned about through Jen’s page when I hooked up her fabulous  Jam Made Elephant pattern.  I found a great tutorial for the technique on Planet June’s site here.

4.  I crocheted all the duplicate parts in the same sitting.  I find a lot of different things can affect my ‘tension’ or ‘gauge’ – especially stress…so a trick I use is to crochet the same limbs/parts in one seating…for example – if I were starting with Giraffy’s left leg, I would crochet the white portion of the foot for the left leg and then I would crochet the white portion of the foot for the right leg.  Next I would crochet the pink rounds on each foot…then the purple rounds on each foot…and so on.  This way if I needed to step away and come back, all ‘matching’ parts were crocheted in one ‘session’.  This is something I have started doing with my character hat features as well- it really seems to help me maintain my gauge for matching pieces..

5. Finishing (the giraffe’s head) – I used this technique to finish-off; another excellent tutorial from Planet June.

I hope that one of those tips helps someone 🙂

Happy Crocheting!

Rhondda

PS – Enter to win below or, subscribe to Inspired Crochet here:  http://www.inspiredcrochet.com/subscribe

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crochet at Play

Back in April I entered a fabulous giveaway on the blog Crafts from the Cwtch – to win a copy of Kat Goldin’s book “Crochet at Play” (Publisher: Kyle Books).

I love seeing what Sarah (of Crafts from the Cwtch) is doing, be it spinning, knitting, crocheting or even just the fabulous photos of Wales that I see posted on her page – my Nana was born in Wales (Pontypridd) in the 1920’s and I have a fondness for all things Welsh – I was drawn to Sarah’s blog earlier this year and I have been following along ever since.

When I received the message that I had actually won the giveaway – I was thrilled! Not only was I to receive the book I have been coveting since I learned of its existence, I was also to receive the yarn I needed to complete the “Shaggy Lion” hat shown on the cover of the UK Edition!

I have hooked other patterns designed by Kat and I have followed her blog Slugs on the Refrigerator for ages – I love her Designs – I find them very straightforward and easy to follow.  I like Designs that leave very little doubt in my mind as to what I need to do to make the pattern work for me.  If I meet the recommended gauge I know the project is going to turn out as depicted and it is going to fit.

Best of all – her book is also full of FUN! Fun patterns – for boys and girls –

I’ve noticed in the last few months of searching for patterns (either by request on my Facebook page) or for my own son – there are very few really good crochet patterns designed specifically for boys.  I have actually created a pinterest page dedicated to crochet patterns that can be used for boys.

I am very excited about the number of great patterns in “Crochet at Play” – I had seen some previews in different posts but after actually reviewing  the book for myself, I am thrilled by how many of the Designs I truly love and I plan on crocheting for my own children.

Visually the book is charming – the instructions are clear and easy to follow – the photographs are full of colour and show the Designs being worn by children.  I love seeing how an item ‘works’ on a model –

The beginning of the book outlines all the different stitches you need to know – both written and pictorial instructions – as well as how to follow the patterns – “Pattern Basics” –

There are more than 30-original-Designs in “Crochet at Play” – among my favorites are:

Flat Cap

Leafy Capelet

Beastie Feet

Hedgehog Mittens

Tutu

Cabled Yoke Cardigan

Silver Birch Tunic

Wolf

Hobby Horse

Shaggy Lion

I received the book and the yummy yarn on Friday evening and immediately dropped all my other projects to hook the “Shaggy Lion” hat – Darla and Drew both love this hat –

Kat has some free patterns available in honour of the release of her book –

Rainbow Bright Dress

Mermaid Tail

You can also view a ‘trailer’ for the book here!

Crochet at Play by Kat Goldin Book Trailer from Kat Goldin on Vimeo.

“Crochet at Play” is available for sale on Amazon – CanadaUSAUK (great pictures in the previews!).

This post is not affiliated with/by anyone – the opinions are totally my own – I just love the book!

Happy Crocheting,

Rhondda