Archive | September, 2015

Help! I need you to participate in our annual Hat & Scarf Drive

I am writing this post to ask for help.  That’s right, I can’t do it alone.  For over a decade now my husband and I have been supporting the Lily of the Valley orphanages in Mexico.  There are 3 total (so far).  1 is located in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico and 2 others are located in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.   Each Christmas I like to coordinate a Hat and scarf drive for the children of the orphanages.   This is a chance for children to receive a new hat and scarf set made with love.   This year once again I am running the drive.   We are in need of hats and scarfs for both sexes and for ages Infant to 18 years of age.
You can make any style of hat.  It can be crochet, knit, loom, or sewn.  Our goal is to receive 800 sets.  This will ensure that each child will receive a set.  I would also like to request baby blankets (approximately 33 x 35 inches) or lap afghans for the younger children.  Many people seem surprised to learn that Mexico has some very cold regions.  Not every part is tropical.   I hope you will consider participating.

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Filming the balloon Drop. Sometimes I just want to have fun

Filming the Balloon Drop was more work than we ever imagined

Sometimes I just want to have fun.  I enjoying creating video tutorials and sharing the things I love to make with others.   As many of you may know my main focus has been on my YouTube channel “All Crafts Channel”.   I like to make videos where I share the crafts I enjoy.    I have been starting to feel a little boring lately so I decided to film a fun channel intro.    Together with my son and husband I filmed a new intro this week.  We filmed a Balloon Drop for our intro.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 11.36.18 PM

I must admit it appeared much more spectacular in my mind…. Yeah, I had delusions of grandeur.   First we had to gather all the supplies we would need to film the intro.   We inflated 50+ balloons the old fashioned way;  Lung Power.   My husband suffered a little light headedness but we got all the balloons inflated.  We also used party-poppers and confetti guns for the shoot.   If you listen carefully you can hear them popping in the background.    In order to release the balloons we have to set up a backdrop frame and draped a large sheet over it.  We then poured (carefully) the inflated balloons onto the sheet which was being held up by my husband and son.  They stood up on step-stools.   I then ran to the camera and started filming.   Once I said the tag line my husband and son released the balloons.   After releasing the balloons they (and I) set off the party poppers.  I used a confetti gun which was purchased at Smart-n-Final store.  My husband also had a confetti gun.  My son set off most of the party poppers.     Oh, did I mention that we were in the middle of a heat wave.. and it was super hot in the living room.

Check out the video of the balloon drop on the next page.

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How to Measure Gauge; What is it? Why should I care?

Tool for measuring gauge on knit and crochet

Tool to Measure Gauge on crochet and knit items

Learn to Measure Gauge

In this post you will learn how to measure gauge.  Have you ever wondered what gauge was and why you should care?   I get a lot of people that say they never make a gauge swatch and that they really don’t understand gauge.   If you have been fortunate enough to create garments that fit without making a gauge swatch let me say that one day your luck may run out.  What probably happened is that you were working very close to the gauge indicated on the pattern.   Lucky you!

Gauge refers to the number of stitches and rows a knitter or crocheter makes per inch using a certain yarn and needles or hook.  Since not everyone crochet or knits with the same tension (this affects gauge), it is a very good idea to make a gauge swatch before beginning a new project.   There are items that you can crochet or knit in which gauge isn’t critical.  However if you are working on certain items like garments it is important to be able to match the gauge that is specified in the pattern instructions.  This will ensure that your item/garment is the same size as the size the designer intended when designing the item and that the amount of yarn required (as specified in pattern) is sufficient to complete your project.

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Wow, am I embarrassed

Wow, am I embarrassed.  You know life is full of those oops moments.  Happens to me more often than I would like to admit.  Well last week I had one of those moments.  This is what happened…. As some of you know I like to give away a little something to those people who are members of my blog each month.    Last week I wanted to say thank you to all my blog members for being so great and supportive of this blog.  (Even though I am not as consistent as I should be..darn life gets in the way).    I decided to give away a free pattern to my blog members.

I chose one of my favorites the Criss Cross puff stitch cowl.  My patterns are mostly on my Ravelry store (some here also).  I went and prepared what Ravelry calls a promotion.   I went and selected my pattern and chose the coupon code which I shared with blog members thru an email.   I thought everything was set up correctly and hit that send button on my email list.   Well.. the coupon code wasn’t working correctly.  I contacted Ravelry and they quickly set up a direct link to enable members to download the pattern… problem was.. it was the wrong pattern.  Totally my fault not theirs.  I must have gotten confused and given the wrong name.

This reminds me of those TV commercials.. that say “Kinda of like you, isn’t you.”     So here are the two cowls that caused the confusion.

diagonal cowl orange cowl 1


When I re-send out the email it gave away the cowl on the right instead of the orange cowl on the left.   I apologize for the mistake.   The free pattern giveaways are for blog members only.  I had asked members in my email to please NOT share the pattern codes with others.   I also stated to please be sure to include the code (so you can check it’s working), prior to checking out as I would NOT be issuing refunds for people who did not check out correctly.   Well, someone did share the pattern code with another person.  Shame on you.   That person (non-member) completed the check out process.. even though the code wasn’t working.  They were charged the $5.50 for the pattern.  This really enraged them (they send me an angry email calling me all kinds of bad names.. oh, they called my mother some pretty bad stuff too) and so they opened a complaint and request for a refund from paypal.  They also went and put a complaint on my Ravelry store.   They told Paypal I was ripping people off and must be stopped.   Really?  This person wasn’t even a member.. so I could argue that they were the one trying to rip off me and my members.  Oh, well..  the issue has been resolved.   In the future I am pleading with all members please DO NOT share the codes.  This person offered to give me the name of the person who gave them the code if I would refund them the $5.50… yup, threw their friend right under the bus for $5.50.  Disappointing.

I want to correct the mistake for members who received the wrong pattern.  So tomorrow I will be sending out another email to members only to give them the direct link or the orange cowl since this was the intended pattern giveaway for September.  You should have already been able to download the diagonal cowl on the left which I also really like.   If you are not a member you can join at any time.  It’s free, just put in  your first name and email address.  I need your email address to send you notifications and links for free patterns, special promotions available only to blog members and previews of coming projects.

Back to the topic of crochet.  I love making cowls now for the fall season.   Remember you can use any color or brand yarn (medium weight) you like.  These work up pretty fast and make great Christmas gifts and sell very well at craft fairs.

That’s all.. carry on folks!



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Boye Ergonomic Crochet Hook Winners Announced!

Boye Ergonomic Crochet Winners!

The big day is here!  The day where the winners for the Boye Ergonomic Crochet Hooks are announced.     The first winner chosen from the entries here on the blog is:   Stephanie Ostrowski       Stephanie you have  5 days to respond with your mailing info.  If you do not respond within this time another winner will be chosen.

hook set

Our second winner from my YouTube Channel subscribers (All Crafts Channel),  is :   Rosa Santos.    Rosa you also have 5 days to respond with your info.  If you do not respond within the 5 days another winner will be chosen to take your place.  Both winners have been notified via email, posting on the blog and a video announcement on YouTube.

I want to thank everyone who entered the giveaway.   Please be sure to keep visiting my blog and YouTube channel as more giveaways are planned.

If you did not win and would like to purchase a set of hook for yourself there are available at many craft stores and Wal-Mart.  If you want to order online here is the link:   Hook purchase link

Congratulations to the winners.

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