Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bottletree Craft Bazaar 2010 - DAY TWO




Today there was a good turnout of people. William and I did pretty well today and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It felt like the day went by quickly, and I was happy about the hours not being too grueling (10-4), tomorrow it's from 11-4. I'm not looking forward to the daunting task of packing it all up again, it was so nice to leave everything set up each night though. Not every location had that luxury. Here are a few pictures of my set-up and the room.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bottletree Craft Bazaar 2010

I absolutely LOVED being a part of this event last year. This is the 5th year that they've put it on. It has grown as I had predicted, and I'm sure will continue to. Last year, the Craft Bazaar was 2 days (Saturday & Sunday). Even at the 4 year point, it had already outgrown the Bottletree and was in about 2 separate locations nearby. This year, there are even more locations and a shuttle is provided. I love the location I'm in this year. Yet another beautiful old building right in the middle of being renovated. Beautifully finished concrete floors, brick walls with that grenecian plaster. I made sure that I was there at noon today to pick a nice location, the one wall with some sort of paint over grenecian plaster (I think)...we were trying to figure it's really unique and sort of a washed out teal/green. I've taken a few pics...I'm going to make a few changes and then take more pics tomorrow of the entire room. The owner said he would show William and I his upstairs loft tomorrow, which I can imagine is just amazing. William and I are sharing a booth this year and the event is 3 days instead of 2. I'm already exhausted since I still had to go to work today and all the running around to set up and then having to go back to work...I'm pretty beat! I'm so glad it doesn't start until 10 and all the setting up is behind me. I'm about to pour a glass of wine and wind some yarn for sale tomorrow...what a perfect excuse to destash.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gardendale Christmas Craft Show

William and I did our first booth together at the Gardendale Christmas Arts Festival this past weekend. We set up on Saturday only and are already talking about ideas for our next event which will be in about 2 weeks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

William made the front page!

After only about 6 months in business, William had a set of buttons featured on Etsy's front page! He didn't realize it, but was wondering why that item received so many views on yesterday. I searched the vault on craftcult early this morning and was thrilled to see him featured. When I told him, he didn't completely believe me, but came running upstairs to look for himself. He was postively GIDDY, which was evident by the little dance he did. I'm really so proud of him, and the fact that he has taken the reins on the photos now as well, so it's truly all his doing. Hopefully one day, I'll get a spot on the front page (fingers crossed).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Darla Shrug

This is an old pattern that someone recently asked me to make. It's really more of a schematic and can easily be adjusted to fit any size. Enjoy!

I took a tape measure and measured the widest part of my upper arm, this determined the length of my starting chain (granted I added a few stitches so it wouldn't be tight). You will be working the short rows, or working one sleeve, the bodice and then the other sleeve.

Also, you will want to try this shrug on periodically near the end so that you will have the sleeves and body the length and fit you desire.

For a slouchier fit, add more rows and leave the bodice (middle section) wider.

Approximately 200 grams of fingering or baby weight yarn (sport weight works well also)

Size H or I crochet hook

Safety pins

Tapestry Needle (optional)

Row 1: trc in 5th chain from hook and in each stitch to end of row.

Row 2: ch 5 (counts as 1st trc); trc in next stitch; *ch 1; skip next stitch; trc in next 2 stitches*; repeat from * to * to end of row, ending in 2 trc.

Row 3: trc in each stitch across (including ch 1 spaces)

Row 4 - end: Repeat row 2 and 3 to desired length.

Fold over and TRY ON for perfect fit.
Use safety pins to pin shrug sleeves where desired.

You can crochet the seams: Join by doing 4 sl st in side of each row, starting from bottom of shrug to body of shrug on both sides.

Or simply use a tapestry needle and sew the seams using a whip stitch.

This pattern brought to you courtesy of Knots and Loops and Oruaka.

Copyright © 2005 Donna M. Rutledge, all rights reserved. No pattern or other material may be reproduced or distributed – mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying and posting to websites – without written permission from Donna M. Rutledge. Pattern is for personal use only, you may, however, sell finished items made from this pattern as long as you reference the pattern source in your online listings. For email assistance with pattern and/or corrections, please contact Donna M. Rutledge at:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ulari Fingerless Driving Gloves

I'm still feeling pretty inspired by the changing of the seasons. I'm starting to see the first signs of the leaves changing colors and the past week was the first of the season with temperatures that barely made it in the 80's. I've started shopping (a little) for a few new boots, a few sweaters and skirts. The summer tops will be making their final 2010 round soon and I'm looking forward to wearing a few new hand crochet pieces this year. I'm seeing a lot of fingerless gloves making appearances this fall/winter in so many incarnations that I attempted yet another crochet interpretation. This design I'm calling Ulari, which means "Beautiful thing" in Igbo. There will be a matching hat to go with this design, just hoping the actual crochet interpretation is what I'm seeing in my mind's eye. The pattern for the gloves isn't completed yet, but should be soon, I'm eager to get it tested (along with the hat if all goes well).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cinematic Orchestra - The Man With The Movie Camera

This is one of the first songs that I ever heard by The Cinematic Orchestra years ago...I think it's still my favorite. But then again, I have so many favorites by this band, they're really one of the very best and one that I would LOVE to see live.

I had a call from a very nice lady today who lives in New Jersey. Her daughter bought one of my crochet patterns, but doesn't crochet, so she was making it for her daughter and had a question. She explained when I first spoke to her last week that she was 89 years old, she didn't have a computer, so the only way I could help her was to talk to her. She was so sweet and gave me such compliments on my pattern and how her opinion of the style, stitch, etc. (Kelechi beanie). It was really fun to talk to her.

I've been thinking about submission(s) for Vanna's Crochet Contest this year. I think for sure I'm going with a purse idea that's floating around in my head. Still trying to put it together in my head before attempting right now. And the fact I'm so behind on my mother's Christmas gift she requested last year. I'm getting a little worried. I'm only about 90 squares in, and I have ALOT more to go. At least I'm joining as I go and the ends are weaved in. There is going to have to be a CROCHETING MARATHON for a few days in order to get that one done by Christmas.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gerald's Game (again)

Just thought I'd throw in a random, non-crochet related blog post. I'm reading Gerald's Game again. This was the first Stephen King novel I ever read, about 15 years ago. I then found it on clearance at a Hollywood Video when they were getting rid of all of their audiobooks, so I couldn't leave it in there. That had to have been over ten years ago, and they're actual cassette tapes! I dusted them off and decided to go on this psychological rollercoaster ride one more time and I'm almost done. This still remains one of King's best (out of the few that I've read) in my opinion. It's just making me want to revisit my other favorites now.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Akudo Fingerless Gloves

I had an Etsy customer purchase the Akudo Toque last week in gray to match a pair of handknit gloves that she purchased from another seller on Etsy. I have yet to create a pair of fingerless gloves, and it got me to thinking what the Akudo fingerless gloves would look like if they existed. The stitch pattern used on the Akudo pieces is perfect for fingerless gloves, and it sort of has a hand knit look about it, not to mention how warm they would be. I experimented a little and came up with something I'm really happy with. I can't wait to start wearing mine.

I don't think I have ever posted a picture of the Akudo it is.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kaima Convertible Shrug

I’m finishing up the writing portion of my most recent designs, the Kaima Convertible Shrug (thanks again Jane for allowing me to use your fabulous photos). Testing for this is coming to a close as well, should be getting the final comments in a day or so. I’ve worked this pattern three times, just finished the last a few hours ago. This was the first time that I had 3 patterns being tested simultaneously, so I’ve felt very busy in the last few weeks. Very inspired as well…anticipating the changing of the seasons. Fall being my favorite. There are a few other designs that have at least made it to my notebook, so perhaps there will be a few new additions to the collection.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Akudo Slouchy Toque Hat

I've been extremely busy lately...but always manage to get some crocheting in, especially this time of year. This is the Akudo Slouchy Toque Hat which is nearing the end of the testing process now. I'm thinking that a complimenting neckwarmer is needed to finish this off. I don't usually work on so many projects at once...there's another separate project that is nearly done being written up that I hope to start having tested by next weekend also, and yet another garment that's waiting also partially written that I need to revisit. The fall weather will be upon us in weeks, although it hasn't felt like this extreme heat will be relenting any time soon. This item will be a great one to give as gifts, especially for those who live in cold climates, this hat will be warm and snuggly.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


How often do you get a (pleasant) surprise in the mail? I happen to be a HUGE fan of parcels, and admit that I like ordering things for myself online so that it feels like I'm getting a little present in the mail. I even try to order more than one thing at a time so that when they arrive, I'm not quite sure what it is that I'm opening. Anyways, I did happen to get an ACTUAL surprise on the 8th. I ordered some rayon boucle cone yarn online from a seller I've been using for years. I was looking for a specific yarn that I was sure I wouldn't be able to find again and had just used the last of my own. When it arrived in the mail, not only was it a perfect match, but she had put an extra cone of the yarn in the box as well! That made my day, almost as much as the second package that arrived that day. I was only expecting one package, and my husband was also expecting one. So to my surprise, he tells me they are BOTH for me. I open it and realize it's the hat I submitted to the Vanna White Knit & Crochet Contest. I'd already gone to the site and didn't see my name or my project anywhere as one of the big prize winners. So why had they contacted me to send in the hat, right? Well, they returned the hat along with a few goodies, I HAD actually been a finalist and won a prize which included a Michael's gift card. When I entered the contest it was almost too late and I thought maybe it was a design contest rather than the use of Vanna's yarn. Anyone could have submitted the hat using my pattern. But it was one of my best sellers so I submitted it anyway. I'm not a total loser after all I guess. I'm planning on entering the contest next time, hopefully I'll be more prepared and have a really creative entry.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Emume Bolero - Cropped Version

Finally done with the Emume (ee-moo-may...meaning "Celebration or festivity" in Igbo) bolero pattern. The photo is of the cropped length which is included in the pattern along with lots of pictures. This is the first time I tried testing on Ravelry through the free pattern testers group I recently joined: I love how organized this group was and immediately joined. I received such good feedback from my 5 testers and each of them has linked their Ravelry project page to the pattern which is available now on Ravelry and through my Etsy shop. My mother's birthday is on Friday and I think I'm giving her one with one of William's handmade buttons on it. I'll definitely be using this group again to test my next shrug pattern, which is completed, although the pattern is not written out yet. I'm taking a few days off work to relax so I'm hoping to have it written out soon and get the testing process under way.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beautiful Waist of Time

So I get home from work last night to a starving husband, eager for me to prepare his “Sunday dinner” (which to his disappointment didn’t happen on Sunday because we ate leftovers from Saturday night’s dinner). Anyways, so I made a beeline home to get started on it, already knowing that dinner would be late that night because of all the prep that needed to be done. He was so excited about dinner that he told me he hadn’t eaten ALL DAY and that he “dreamed” about it, so I couldn’t let him down again, right? So we’re in the garage and I just happened to ask about the latest PILE of wood I see. His eyes light up and he enthusiastically starts telling me about the wood, telling me about the tree it came from, pointing out little nuances in the wood grain and showing me his works in progress using the wood. He then starts showing me other wood in yet ANOTHER PILE that I hadn’t even noticed...uh, there's A LOT of wood in the garage, where did it all come from? I’m amazed at how much he knows about each type wood and listen intently as he struts around pointing this out and that out, showing me what he’s working on and telling what his plans are for other pieces of wood, his workshop, etc. Before I knew it, an hour had passed and I had to get cracking on dinner before it was midnight…but how could I interrupt him...he couldn't be more enthralled, and I mean, he was showing me his wood and we were sharing a moment. Until I mentioned dinner and he stopped on a dime as if I was sitting around wasting time.

Before too long though, he was upstairs, keeping me company in the kitchen putting some cufflinks together at the table and playing the latest cd from The Roots (AWESOME CD!) for me and I was leaning up against the countertop crocheting away while the food was in the oven. We both eventually had to remark on how we were both “working” at that moment and how nice it was to both be at home, listening to great music, relaxing while we "worked" creatively...amazing.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Emume Bolero

Just finished my second Emume (ee-moo-may) bolero, with one of William's buttons Emume means Celebration or festivity in Igbo. Still working on the pattern which is still being tested. I really want to keep this one for myself, the pictures don't show the rich color or beautiful drape. I was sad to wind the last of it off the cone. I'm doubtful that I'll find more of it. There's enough to maybe make a nice scarf for myself to remember it by.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bobble Pillow Duvet

Finally finished this project...the bobble pillow duvet. It took MUCH longer than I had anticipated, I've never worked such a highly textured solid stitch before. It also took a lot more yarn than I thought it would, the bobbles are quite pronounced. It turned out better than I thought it would, thanks to those great buttons I had William to make especially for this project. I don't know if it looks better in the living room or's a great compliment to the wood furniture so I know I'll need at least one or two more. I'm loving having such a great button source in my own home! I love it when William is all excited about a new piece of wood and then shows me a button or jewelry that he's made out of it. He has to keep reminding me that I can't have EVERYTHING. I've been good though...only when the current project needs it, and then it's really whatever I want...which is quite inspiring and now there are many ideas that are actually making it to paper right now, so hopefully more new patterns soon.

On another note...Father's Day is this month. William has been busy making cufflinks in many types of wood, my favorites include Ebony, Bocote, Zebrawood, and Osage Orange. He will be offering free shipping for a limited time in the U.S. & Canada. You can find his shop here:

Monday, May 31, 2010

Enjoying the day has been a very relaxing one too. Great end to my birthday weekend. William was busy creating today, as was I, and decided to start a small project for myself. Well, this project turned out to take much longer than I had anticipated, but it is looking better than I imagined so I'm pressing on. I'm a little over half done now and can't wait to see the finished product. Here's a little sneak peek.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oruaka Slouchy Hat and Cowl PATTERN!!!


Size J hook

3 - 1” (or larger) buttons

2 skeins “I Love This Yarn” in Antique Teal or approximately 500 yards any worsted weight yarn.

Tapestry Needle


Foundation Chain 142
Row 1 1 hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each stitch across.

Row 2 Ch 3 and turn, 1 hdc in back loop of next stitch and each stitch across to end of row.

Rows 3-4 Repeat row 2.

Row 5 (buttonhole) Ch 3 and turn, 1 hdc in back loop of next 6 stitches, ch 3 and skip next 3 stitches, 1 hdc in back loop of each stitch across to end of row. (For a larger buttonhole, skip 5 stitches and ch 5)

Row 6 Ch 3 and turn, 1 hdc in back loop of each stitch across (including 1 hdc in each stitch of ch 3 from buttonhole made in previous row).

Rows 7-17 Repeat row 2

Row 18 Repeat row 5

Row 19 Repeat row 6

Rows 20-31 Repeat row 2

Row 32 Repeat row 5

Row 33 Repeat row 6

Row 34-37 Repeat row 2.


Foundation Chain 52
Row 1 1 hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each stitch across.
Row 2-50 Ch 3 and turn, 1 hdc in back loop of next stitch and each stitch across to end of row.

• Turn garment wrong side facing you and fold.
• Join using a slip stitch through both edges.
• Fasten Off
• Using a tapestry needle, thread a long length of yarn through and tie at the end (as if you will be sewing with two strands).
• At top of hat, weave tapestry needle and yarn through ch 3 rows and pull tight to close.
• Tie off and weave in the ends.

This pattern brought to you courtesy of Knots and Loops and Oruaka.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shakara Shrug

This is the latest design, inspired by a knit shrug that I saw. This project only took a few hours to complete and I love the way it turned out. Searched for a crochet version of this shrug and couldn't find anything so I took a break from the giant granny square blanket I'm working on as a Christmas gift (a photo of the blanket...and Baloo below).

On another note...I talked William into opening his own Etsy shop a few weeks ago. It's been about a month now and he's off to a promising start, evan branching off into jewelry and cufflinks now, with more to come. His shop can be found . He is even offering free shipping right now, so check out his shop here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I am so impressed with William. I ordered some wood branch buttons a little over a year ago and ended up putting them away and sorta forgot about them until recently. So I started working on a new pattern and asked him if he thought he could make some buttons for me since the ones I had were a little more unusually shaped and I wanted just basic branch buttons. He seemed very interested in the challenge and went totally gung ho into it, even learning more about trees in general and identifying the different types of trees I didn't even know existed in my own backyard.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Antonio's Sacred Hat/Cowl

I had a special request from Antonio who had recently lost one of his favorite hats which was given to him by a friend. Antonio referred to this hat as “The Sacred Hat”. He and his friend searched and could not find a replacement anywhere. Somehow, he stumbled across my Etsy shop and saw my Tugharia drawstring hat/cowl and asked if I could create one similar but to look more like his “Sacred” hat. He had one sole photo of himself wearing the hat which he sent me. I just loved the photo…I could tell how much the he loved the hat and got a good idea of how to make one very similar, so I eagerly took on the challenge and created the Nso (which means “Sacred” in Igbo).

This is Antonio's Sacred Hat/Cowl (above)
The Nso Hat/Cowl is (below)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tugharia Drawstring Hat/Cowl Combo

A new year...a new design. I'm hoping to keep creating a few more designs this year. More than I did last year. Could a crochet book be in the future? Possibly. That's the ultimate goal with the patterns at this point. I created this to enter it in a crochet contest. I'm realizing more, it's not really about the pattern, it's more about the finished product and how creative you interpretation is on really ANY pattern, it doesn't even have to be your own.

Anyways, back to the Tugharia (Too-har-ee-a) which is Igbo for "Change position". Which is exactly what this garment does. It can be worn as a hat or a cowl...very comfortable and snuggly either way. The stitch pattern creates almost chunky knit a warm thich sweater. I don't know whether I like it cinched at the top neatly or with a "sack" closure. I'm working on the fingerless gloves to match. Actually, last night I finished a mitten with the convertible thumb so that you can still navigate on your touch screen devices without taking the mitten off. I liked it alright, but I think I like the fingerless gloves better.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bottletree Craft Bazaar

Okay, so I may not be the most dedicated blogger…but I’m going to work on it this decade. I will say that I have been very busy stitching lately. The Kelechi hat seems to be my best seller at the moment along with the Ziela cowl. I sold quite a few at the Bottletree Craft Bazaar on December 5th. This was a great event, and I liked it better than the Butterbean Festival which was my first time setting up a booth. I think this decision weighs greatly on the fact that this event was indoors. It was also freezing that day…it had actually snowed the night before. I was only able to set up one table, but it was worth the $10 to do so. I’m already looking at doing a few more next fall/winter since I have had a little bit of experience with it now and I’m pretty much ready to set up.

I’m planning on entering the Vanna White crochet contest as well. The deadline is next month and I have no idea what I’m going to enter. The rules say that I can enter a pattern that has already been written, so I’m considering that as a last resort. I’d like to come up with something new though…although filling order right now eats up most of my crocheting time. I’m setting aside the spring/summer months to try to develop a few new patterns since I’m sure the demand will decrease at that time.