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Mill Creek – 1 year Anniversary!

Wow! I cannot believe I have already been at this a year. Last year, Mill Creek was my first show. (Well technically, I’ve been working at this a year and a half because I needed a few production months. I make it….all by myyyseeelf, everything.)

Success means so many things to different people, but I would say it’s been a successful year. I have had SO. MUCH. FUN. I found out I love designing just as much as making. My skills have improved and continue to do so. I made several custom orders for some fantastic people. Meeting new people and interaction with other vendors is the best.

I’m not sure what this next year will bring, but all I can say, is BRING IT ON. I will have bigger and better designs, more pun-centric softees animals, and more knitted items.

Are you ready?

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Snowy Snow Snow

Whew! We are supposed to get hammered. HAM-MERED with snow. I will be also getting hammered. With alcohol. (Well not hammered. I’m not as young as I used to be. Queue Charlie Brown theme song and sympathy compliments about how young I look.)

So what does that mean? It means that NerdFaire has been POSTPONED to March 2 instead of tomorrow (February 9th). I’m relieved that the organizers made that decision because I would hate to miss this experience. For me, it just gives me time to make more badass merch and terrible puns that will make you laugh and shake your head with disappointment or pride. I have already made a “Generic handheld game” pillow, mermaid pillow, and “generic wizardry school” crest blanket. I have been working away at enlarging my horror series, as well as adding special edition glow in the dark items! (Super excited about those!!)

That’s about all the updates I have for now. Now, my plan is to binge watch Season One of Golden Girls and work on a project…. FOR MYSELF!

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Year in Review and Upcoming

This year has been amazing! I got my first four shows out of the way. From the first one, I was blown away by the response. I love people “getting the joke” and laughing. I love the “awww, so cute”s, the repeat customers, and just the general feeling that somehow, I made the world a little bit better. If you would have told me last year this is where I would be now, I would have laughed and said how nice that sounded, but certainly would not be true. Every day, I get to be creative. Every day, I get to do what I love and that is so rewarding. For everyone who has supported me through purchases, posts, likes, word of mouth, and kind words, THANK YOU. You are the reason I am able to continue doing this.

So what now? I’m in the process of upgrading my website to a storefront. Being able to reach the market between shows and being available to your timing needs is important to me. Each order will include FREE SHIPPING in the U.S. I am always open to a custom order, from bulk to some crazy octopus I haven’t thought of yet.

Next year, I have NerdFaire mini con at the Lynnwood Convention Center in February. I cannot tell you how excited I am. It used to be a dream to be a con vendor and now, I venture into con vendordom. (Say that 5 times fast.) I will be offering a con exclusive design, so be on the lookout for that in February! As mentioned before, The Make Sale will be in April, so I have a limited time to restock, followed by Geek Craft Market on May the 4th! June is Oddmall Emporium of the Weird Summer Spectacular. Keep in mind I design and make all the things I sell, so I will be super busy and loving every minute of it!!

In the meantime, enjoy this photo of me trying to make a sign with my name, being annoyed I didn’t have another “s”, then realizing something just wasn’t right…

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I’m Octo-sessed!

Or maybe I’m an Obsess-topus? I’m not sure. All I know is that I CANNOT stop making octopuses. (I did some research and grammar nerds say it is octopuses, not octopi, but feel free to debate amongst yourselves. That didn’t stop me from making an “Octo-pumpkin-pi” for Thanksgiving, though.)

Anyway, here are a few samplings that will have their unveiling at Lake Forest Park Holiday Market December 16 from 10-3. Be sure to grab them before they are gone FOR-EV-ER, or at least until I make another one (which could be forever).

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Custom Ordering now available!

I am exhausted after the Lake Forest Craft Market, but also energized for the next one! It was a successful show. Customers and vendors were a blast to hang out with and get to talk about all our craftiness. I’m in the Facebook live video waving like a nerd.

I am having so much fun making and designing that I’ve decided to open it up to custom orders. I’ve been designing the blankets and LOVE making them, so if there is a design you want, I can likely work from a picture and work with you to create what you want. I’ve also custom designed hats and stuffed items. I’d love to explore any possibility your mind can dream up! Email me for a price quote.

I’m also adding the option to buy the Oregon Trail “You have died of dysentery” blanket here! The pricing includes shipping in the U.S.

 

Dysentery Blanket

Made in black and green, this tribute to Oregon Trail measures approx 48″ x 56″. Lead time is 3 weeks.

$250.00

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Holiday Markets-Lake Forest Park

I have been furiously working away, getting more inventory and new items for the Lake Forest Park Holiday Craft fairs November 18 and December 16, from 10-3. On the list: holiday themed sea creatures, ornaments, and food items. Hopefully, I will be able to debut my “Obligatory Holiday Blanket”, as well as my Oregon Trail dysentery blanket. So many ideas in my brain! I’m looking forward to seeing all of you there.

There are also some more shows coming up, in addition to Oddmall in June and The Make Sale in April. More details to come……😀

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My name is Bat.. Baseball Bat

This summer brought the Stitch & Pitch event to Safeco once again! It was a blast to share two of my loves: Baseball and Yarn. I designed a pattern that was sold in kits through Mad Cow Yarn in Washington.

In typical fashion, I couldn’t let such an event go by without some kind of pun, so I designed a bat in a hat. A baseball bat, if you will. I loved the responses and laughter. It’s one of the reason I love what I do: I make people smile.

Now I am releasing the pattern to you, to the interwebs, to all the crocheting baseball players and fans. Or people who like bats. Or hats. Or named Matt. Or just who knows where it’s at. (Ok, I’ll stop now.)

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You will need:

  • Baseball Bat crochet pattern (below)
  • 2 safety eyes with washer backing
  • 15 g (approx. 33 yds) each of Cascade 220 SW Merino in #35 Teal (Color A) and #33 Navy (Color B) – Or any two team colors in a worsted weight yarn
  • Poly-fil
  • F/5 3.5mm crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Abbreviations

  • CH: chain
  • ST: stitch
  • SC: single crochet
  • DC: Double crochet
  • HDC: Half double crochet
  • INC: Increase (2 SC in specified st)
  • DEC: Decrease (insert hook into first stitch, YO and pull loop through. Insert hook into second stitch, YO and pull loop through. YO and pull through all loops on hook. 1 stitch decreased.)
  • BLO: Back loops only
  • FLO: Front loops only
  • SL: slip stitch
  • (…): Repeat within brackets the specified number of times.

PATTERN NOTES

  • Rows are not worked continuously. All rows are joined with a sl st and ch 1 before beginning next row.
  • Unless specified, Ch at the beginning of a row DO NOT count as the first st. (This is especially important in the Bat Wings.)

Helpful Tutorials

Bat Head

Using an F hook and Color A

Row 1: SC 6 in magic ring

Row 2: INC 6 times (12 sts)

Row 3: (SC, INC. In FLO of next st SC, 2 HDC, and SC) twice. (SC, INC) twice (16 sts)

Row 4: SC in next 2 sts, INC, SC.  2 HDC in BLO from previous row. INC, SC, SC, INC. 2 HDC in BLO from previous row. (INC, SC) three times. (24 sts)

Row 5-10: SC around

Add safety eyes between rows 6 & 7, 3 sts apart, centering them between the ears.

Row 11: (SC in next 2 sts, DEC) 6 times. (18 sts)

Begin stuffing head and continue through row 13.

Row 12: (SC, DEC) 6 times (12 sts)

Row 13: DEC 6 times (6 sts)

Do not finish off, but continue working into the body.

Bat Body

Continuing from head piece with Color A

Row 1: INC around (12 sts)

Row 2: (SC, INC.) 6 times (18 sts)

Row 3-12: SC around

Row 13: SC in first 11 st. In FLO of next st, (SC, ch3, sl in 1st ch of the ch3, SC). SC in next three sts. In FLO of next st (SC, ch3, sl in 1st ch of the ch3, SC). SC in last 2 sts.

NOTE: If the feet are not centered, adjust the number of beginning SC. You want the feet to align with the eyes.

Row 14: (SC, DEC) 6 times, working in the BLO of the previous row when applicable. (12 sts)

Stuff the body, leaving out a small amount of filling for the hat.

Row 15: DEC 6 times (6 sts)

Cut yarn and use tail to close bottom of body.  (See helpful tutorials)

Bat Wings

With Color A, Chain 11

Row 1 (RS): DC in 3rd ch from hook (counts as first DC), and next 2 chs. HDC in next 3 chs. SC in last 3 chs. Turn.

Row 2 (WS): Ch 1. In FLO, SC in first 3 sts, HDC in next 3 sts, DC in last 3 sts. Turn.

Row 3: Ch 3. In BLO, DC in first 3 sts. HDC in next 3 sts, SC in last 3 sts.

Row 4-5: Repeat rows 2 & 3

Row 6-8: Ch 3. (Does not count as first st) DC across.

Row 9-12: Starting with Row 3, repeat rows 2 & 3, ending with Row 2. Cut yarn.

NOTE: It is easier to weave in all ends at the last step while bordering the wings. This creates a more cohesive join from the wing ribs to the border.

With Color B and RS of wings facing,  use sl st to join to BLO of Row 2. Ch 1. SC in first st and across the BLO. Cut yarn. Rejoin at the next FLO row and repeat for each BLO or FLO row on the right side.  Starting in the middle of the top of the wings with RS facing, SC around the border working over the tails of the yarns from each rib detail and 3 SC in corners.

Cut a long tail for stitching.

Stitch Bat wings to the base of the head/ neck of the bat. If desired, stitch wings down to the body using Color A.

Baseball Hat

With Color B:

Row 1: SC 6 in magic ring

Row 2: INC 6 times (12 sts)

Row 3: (SC, INC) 6 times (18 sts)

Row 4-5: SC around

Row 6: SC in first 7 sts. HDC in next st. (HDC, DC) in next st. (DC, HDC) in next st. HDC. SC in last 7 sts. (20 sts)

Cut yarn, leaving a tail long enough to stitch hat to head.

Stuff slightly before sewing to head.

I hope you enjoy your baseball bat and it helps you root for your team in the World Series soon!!

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2019 bookings – THE FUTURE

Soon, it will be the future, and I already have a couple shows booked for next year!  In April, I will be at The Make Sale: Spring Edition and in June, I will be appearing at Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird.  How exciting! I’m planning some new creatures and blankets for both, so if you like rainbows, introverting, sea creatures, and snark, you know where to find me in April and June. IMG_5624

In the meantime, here is a picture of my cat because he’s a pretty boy. We can all take some cues from him. Love, be loved, enjoy food, and don’t forget to cross your paws.

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The Make Sale: Success!

My VERY FIRST SECOND show is over! I cannot wait for my VERY FIRST THIRD show to happen. I set up at The Make Sale in Monroe, WA on Friday and Saturday. It was the first year for this particular event, and I was very happy with the results! The organizers put in a lot of time, found high quality vendors, and advertised out the wazoo. For my booth, I wanted to knit in a rocking chair by the fireplace, so I did. Blankets, shawls, colorful hats, and, of course, manatees decorated the booth space. The response to my little stuffed animals was outstanding. I love that you love the thing I love to make the most. (That’s a lot of love!)

I have to say, I am so excited about all of this.  Starting something that includes so much of your personality on display is always scary. Will people like me? Will they think I’m funny? Will I just embarrass myself? Am I even good enough to be here? Those insecurities that ran through my mind as a child still rear their ugly head as an adult. As I get older (dare I say AGE?), the answers to those questions become less and less important. What is important? Happiness. It’s all about that happy, and knitting by the fireplace surrounded by beautiful creations from myself and others, being recognized by you, laughing, getting to know new friends… That is my happy place. Thank you for joining me , and I look forward to next time.

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Candy Corn Octopus says Stay Happy, my friends.

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You know what else makes me happy? Custom orders! For pricing, please email me at explodingstitches@gmail.com and I will respond with a quote and time frame for the piece.

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Well that went well

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Thank you all for coming out and supporting me at my very first show ever! I had an absolute blast and enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I knew I would enjoy the making of all the things for a show, but I wasn’t sure I’d like the show itself. Sure, they were long days, but I had help from a couple very special people (who I appreciate and love so much) and was situated next to two very nice and helpful vendors. One of my favorite things was MacGyvering the display so signs stayed up and looked nice. On a whim, I brought T-pins and I used them ALL OVER the booth. I learned so much over the weekend: about myself, business, and people!

My main take away is: You like me. You really like me. My top sellers were manatees and miniatures. I was blown away by their popularity. They are my favorite things to make, so that works out REALLY well. I’d made some things simply because I thought that’s what people would expect to find at a fair booth, but they didn’t do so well. What sold was MY IDEAS and MY DESIGNS. I think I’ll just keep doing whatever the hell I want, because that’s who I am. I started doing this to be me, make all the things and make people laugh. (My business cards even say I’m a humorist.) I’m just not a very good “corporate” employee, nor am I good at conforming. So now I have bins of inventory I thought were my guaranteed sellers staring at me, reminding me that people want genuine-ness and made up words. I’m already applying to my next shows and I hope to see you at one of those!IMG_5442

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Yarn for LIFE

I’m super excited to be at my first show this coming Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15!  (Find out more information here: Mill Creek Festival) For many years, I have contemplated that adage about finding your passion so work never feels like work. I’ve taken many professional and scholastic routes in search of this elusive “passion” in which people speak. Through all of that, the one thing on my mind has always been yarn. Could it be that YARN is my passion? Can yarn even be a passion? Well, I’m finally going to find out. All day, e’ry day, I’m thinking about yarn and patterns and knitting and crocheting and techniques and…. you know, stuff. So I’m finally doing that thing I have obsessed over for years. I have more supplies than I care to admit. When I bought that 20 pounds of poly-fil, I knew I was going all in, or at least have enough that some would be sold at the estate sale after my death. Dreams can be a scary place that take you in strange directions. Somehow it works out, even if it works out by not working out. Here’s to finding out which road I’m on…

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