Thursday, August 25, 2016

My September Challenge

 Making progress...
So, I am trying to continue my "yarn diet" into September. I have several bins of yarn in three locations in the house (ten totes in the basement, 4 under one bed, 1 under another bed), and would like to empty out one or two. I came up with this idea...

I sorted my Ravelry yarn stash inventory by lowest yardage, so I ended up with small/partial skeins. Here is a screen shot of the first 28 entries. I would like to use up these 28 balls/skeins of yarn in September.
Yarn is gathered from a dozen different totes... 2.5 pounds to use up! 

Here are my ideas so far...

1. Brown Rug Yarn - catnip toys? 
Four long-tail catnip balls, done.

2. Sashay Ribbon yarn (from when ruffled scarves were so popular) - ballet skirt on stuffed animals?
  (used it to make a cowl, but need to put a button on before I can take pictures)
3. Starabella Yarn - see #2
4. White sport yarn - combined with another strand or two to make a stuffed animal
5. Fuschia Wool - dryer ball
6. Hot Pink bulky yarn - I may have used this up already. It was marked as being used in a project
7. Pink Ombre - mini baby doll, would make cute PJs .
Ombre #7 - Used up! 

8. Whirlagig - not sure - maybe a Joy doll from the movie Inside Out?
9. Pink Pompadour - mini baby dolls - face/body
10. Jamie Baby - combine with other yarn to make stuffed animal
4, 9 & 10... knocked out three numbers in one project! 
Bored with some other projects, I pulled up the pattern for a little Big Head Baby Doll and started with the two pink baby yarns...then used the white sports yarn for her head. It's not even September yet, and I've used up five of the yarns from this list!

11. Black Thick & Quick - Hair for a Gonk doll
Gonk #1

12. Red Heart Classic - small stuffed animal
13, 14, 15 - Moda Dea fun fur - hedgehogs!
16. Green sport yarn - used up in gonk hat (see above) and a catnip long-tail ball thoroughly enjoyed by my grandkitty, Fyodor!

17 Fun Fur  mixed with bulky - Cookie Monster cat hats
18 Red Sport yarn - and 20 white sport yarn - Pokemon Go Balls
19 Deborah Norville blue variegated - Fancy dress-up baby doll - couldn't find this in stash! :(
21 & 22 - more fun fur - more hedgehogs?
Hedgehog #1
Almost finished off the green yarn (#21)

23 Pink worsted weight - baby slippers- used in a doll
24 & 25 - bulky yarn, blue & black - airplane? knit beanie? gonk hair?
Used one skein to make a belt. Used half of another skein to make a baby hat (which cannot be put online until after a 9/17 baby shower)

26 Soft gray bulky yarn - Gnome hair
Used up gray yarn for a catnip mouse and hair on Gnome #3 in this pic.

27 - light blue sport yarn - combine with other yarn to make stuffed animal
Doubled the sport yarn to make this hedgehog. Used up half a skein of fun fur, too! 

28 - black bulky yarn - gonk hair

I won't necessarily do them in that order... just as the inspiration arises! I will be updating here as I complete projects ! September also marks the beginning of my craft shows (2 in September, 4 in October, 2 in November), so custom orders may compete with challenge projects for my crafting time!

9/30 Update:
I used 18 of the 28 yarns shown. I got some custom orders that kept me busy! This dragon kept me busy for about two weeks, but seeing how happy the customer was with him made it all worth it! Now, on to girly-girl airplanes, catnip mice, penguin mittens, and a mermaid tail!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hello, August!

In August, I'm trying to get back to setting some goals and making daily progress toward meeting them. You see, I have a new obsession that threatens to push all my other projects aside... it all started about a week ago when someone posted a picture of an adorable doll in a free pattern group. I went to look up the pattern, only to discover it had been removed from that website. But... there was a note about joining a Facebook group dedicated to making those dolls. So I joined, found the pattern, and discovered that the Big Head Baby Dolls came in three sizes: regular, medium and mini. I pulled out some scrap yarn and tried my hand at a mini... loved it! Then I made another, and another....

One week later, and I've made five of the little cuties! I have so many ideas for color combinations, hats, themes... but I do have a few other items I really should be working on!

So, I set myself a goal to finish up four WIP this month:

  • Unicorn Purse (order) - DONE
  • Cupcake Blanket (gift for granddaughter due in October) - DONE
  • Mermaid Tail Blanket (inventory stock-up) - DONE
  • Penguin Mittens, version 2.0 (order) - 1/4 done with first mitten
Mermaid Tail Blanket - DONE! 

Oops, didn't make a full size doll, made a medium! 
I also made a list of six items I wanted to get made for craft show inventory. One of my customers said she will be shopping at my September shows looking for gifts for a one-year-old boy, so I need to make sure I have a few items that are more typical for boys, like my planes and cars. I also want to get a good selection of the Big Head Baby Dolls in stock, since they are so adorable, I think they will sell well. Here is my inventory-building list:

Cupcake blanket, done! 

  • Plane - DONE
  • Car - DONE
  • Big Head Doll - full size - DONE
  • Big Head Doll - Mini - DONE
  • Big Head Doll - Mini - DONE
  • Pokeball Cat Toys - DONE

I also set goals for participating in blog link-ups, Instagram photo challenges, and Facebook interactive posts. Since August is typically a very, very slow month for sales, I want to promote, promote, promote!

Then, after I had set all those goals, I got drawn into another challenge, a stash-down project. Like so many other crafters, I have quite the stash of yarn and other craft supplies at my disposal. This month's challenge is to:
(1) make one project per day that uses up scrap yarn from my stash. If you are following my Facebook page, you will be seeing lots of little projects like Messy Monsters, Mini Owls and more of those cute little Big Head Baby Doll minis!
(2) At least once a week, make a project that uses a craft material I purchased specifically for a project, but never got around to using... that polymer clay I bought to make my own ergonomic hooks, the beads I got for wrap bracelets, those bell ball cat toys I got to use as a base for crocheted toys, that pom-pom yarn I thought might make a cute hedgehog... you get the idea!
(3) DON'T BUY ANY MORE YARN UNLESS YOU GET AN ORDER THAT REQUIRES IT! (Sorry for the "shouting" caps. Sometimes I just need to get my own attention, especially when it comes to yarn!)

I have been trying to work down my stash, only buying yarn when I absolutely need it for an order. Well, in July I didn't quite stick to that resolution. There was an Estate Sale about two miles from my house. A friend who had been shopping there said there was a box of yarn, for fifty cents a skein/ball. I stopped by on my way home from work... found the box and took it to the front table to pay, hoping I had enough in my wallet. The woman at the table took a look at the box and said, "You'll take the whole box? $5! And take the box of fabric scraps in there, too!" So, I ended up with over 30 balls/skeins of yarn for $5. I also made a few trips to craft stores and picked up a few bargains... so my yarn stash gained about 8 pounds last month. I would like to see it lose at least five pounds this month!

So, those are my lofty goals for August! They look intimidating  in print, but if I keep chipping away at them, one day at a time, one project at a time, one stitch at a time, I can do it! I'll be posting updates on my Facebook Page and through Instagram

August 19th update:
2/3 of the way through the month, so I should have 8 of the twelve items finished, right? Only six... need to keep my focus on the list instead of playing with fun new projects! To my credit, I haven't purchased any yarn. (Originally typed "yearn". I must be yearning for yarn.)

August 30th update:
All done but the penguin mittens... the small needles cramp up my fingers, so haven't been working on them much. Hoping to have one done by tomorrow!

Plane... done

Big Head Doll, done! 

Pokemon Go Ball  cat toys - done!