Pom poms!

I am so excited to share that two friends from college, Sarah Goldschadt and Lexi Walters, wrote this super fun book about pom-pom crafts.

I couldn’t wait to dig into it and make some poms. The back of the book shows you how to make templates for different sized poms.

I started out by making a giant one for the top of a knit hat in Green Bay Packers colors. I’m thinking I might be making a lot of these for family members!

I also made this fun Christmas ornament out of stripey cupcake liners.

I wish I had some minis. They would be adorable next to the big one.

I also tried making the tiniest of poms out of bakers twine.

I have a whole jar of bakers twine in different colors, so I am excited to make more. And those hedgehogs… as soon as I get more free time.

Pom-Poms: 25 Awesomely Fluffy Projects is available now, and you will definitely want a copy in your stocking this year!

Baby blankets

I finally made something for my own baby! I finished my first baby blanket for her, and I love how it turned out.

Though I am not usually too crazy about pink, I like the combination of pink and brown, so I went with that. It hardly took any time to knit the blanket and crochet the edges.

I am pretty much guaranteed to never have to buy a baby blanket, as we have received many beautiful ones already.

Every member of this household must know to cheer for the Jayhawks.

Just look at the hand-stitching on this quilt from my friend Amy.

I also received the loveliest print from my friend Brianne. She knows I love me some vintage Pyrex bowls.

I thought it deserved a place right above the cookbooks. As for my Pyrex collection, it will have to find a new spot in our home since it currently lives in the nursery-to-be.

Pumpkin House pop-up shop

Earlier this spring I did a really fun craft show at the Pumpkin House in Oakland, and I’m happy to announce that I will be doing their holiday show this weekend.

Here are the details:

In addition to my usual goodies (poufs, cowls, fingerless gloves, cable berets, owls), I’ll have lots and lots of little crocheted bowls.

The weather is supposed to be crappy, but we’ll have plenty of snacks plus hot coffee and tea. And I’ll find something cozy for you to wear home. 🙂

Get crafty on Goodsmiths

I have a new post up on the Goodsmiths blog today about how to make use of those adorable steel cut oats tins. I can’t bear to throw them away once they are empty.

It was really fun putting together all the projects. I plan to do more of these “5 things to make with…” posts. The idea is to show people quick and easy projects rather than one more complicated tutorial. Check it out!

New blogging gig

After my Fresh Home gig petered out, I’m glad to say that I have a new one with Goodsmiths.com. Goodsmiths is a new online marketplace, similar to Etsy, where crafters sell their wares. They’re based in Des Moines, which is how I got the connection. I’m proud to see the Silicon Prairie thing really heating up there.

Anyway, I’ll be posting there about once a week with DIY tutorials, advice for sellers, info on California crafters and events, and whatever else I come up with. My first post is about lessons learned in shipping, which is a topic I love to talk about!

I’d recommend just bookmarking the blog in general, because there are several bloggers posting all kinds of tutorials and recipes you might want to try. And of course if you’re interested in expanding your craft empire, you can open a shop there.

A pouf of my own

Originally, this pouf was a return order. The color did not come out right, and then it went through an insane epidode with FedEx where it was accidentally shipped back to New York then back to me again. At one point I was told it had been destroyed. By the time it got here I was calling it the pouf from hell.

But, alas, I did not give up on it. I decided I would keep it for myself, dye it a much more attractive color, and use it as a footstool in our soon-to-be nursery. I opted for a nice neutral chocolate brown, and I really like it. I ended up mixing two browns together in hopes that the darker one would drown out the orange without making it too dark.

I think you could call it a pouf redeemed.

The ultimate recycled blanket

Remember this guy?

Well, after a few years of constant use on our couch it was looking a little rough around the edges. The yarn had started to get fuzzy and pill. And I was just starting to wish for something new. I was all ready to find some yarn on sale and start a new blanket. But if you’ve ever made a blanket yourself (especially one of this size), you know that it always ends up costing more than what it would have if you just went out and bought one.

So I thought about if for a while and decided that I would try to make a new blanket out of the old one. I’ve always loved those colors, and they go so well with our orange couch. So I pulled the whole thing apart.

It took me the better part of a week to get the pill-y yarn wound into huge balls. But once it was done it really did feel like a fresh start. And there were only a couple parts that needed to be cut out because they were beyond repair.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on the new blanket here and there. I improvised a color block pattern as I went along. And I finally got it finished!

I love how it turned out. It’s obviously not as attractive as a brand new blanket would be. But since it will most likely be claimed by the dogs most of the time, I’m OK with that.

Reggie loves it already.

Speaking of blankets, my sister just finished this adorable love birds quilt for a friend of hers who was getting married.

I’ve never made a quilt before, but I have the ultimate respect for those who are talented at sewing.

And I hear that Megan’s cats were a big help in the process. Especially Vladmir.

New pattern shop

Now that I don’t sell recycled crafts and vintage anymore, my old Etsy shop has just been sitting empty for months. So I decided to turn it into my pattern shop. Thankfully Etsy finally decided to start letting people change their shop names, so it’s now caracorey.etsy.com.

I also finally got together a pattern for rope rugs. I put it on Ravelry too. And while I was at it, I finally put some of my projects into official patterns there. Organizational success!

I realized that if I am going to do this crafty thing for a living I better own my job as a knitting/crochet designer. It feels weird to be mostly putting journalism behind me. But that’s what I’m doing. And guess what? Almost 20 patterns sold since yesterday. Not too shabby.

Spring craft show

This weekend I’ll be doing my first craft show of 2012 in a great little space in Oakland. Here are the details:

Decoupage head

I had this styrofoam head that I use to model knit hats at craft fairs and it was getting kind of banged up so I wanted to get a new one. I went on Etsy to see if anyone was selling them and I found all these listings for heads that had been decoupaged with old book pages. I thought it looked cool, and I could totally do that instead of buying a new one. So I got some Mod Podge and tried it out.

I’m calling her Simone because the only book I had with yellowed pages was a copy of The Second Sex. (Don’t worry, I only tore out the introduction). So now I have a head covered with feminist literature.

Here is a nice tutorial on how to decoupage a head. It’s pretty simple — just spread on the Mod Podge with a foam brush, place torn pieces of paper on top, and smear more Mod Podge over that until they lay flat. I love the finished look, and I think it will fit in nicely with my vintage looking baskets.

Speaking of crafts, can you believe how much friendship bracelets are making a comeback? I only ever knew how to make the simple ones with diagonal stripes, but I’m kind of tempted to try some others. I even saw them for sale at Target!