Newpaper Article

YAY!! I was finally able to get a digital copy of the newspaper article featuring my yarn bomb. Some of the quotes are not quote accurate, but they gave me a pretty long article, so I'm happy! And for those of you wondering, I never got the scarf & glasses back. Now, without further adieu, here it is!



Been busy!

This has been one crazy & busy Holiday season!

I've been working on a couple new patterns that I just listed at my Etsy shop. I haven't even had time to get the up on my website yet, but hopefully soon! I even got my husband, Colin, to model for me! I've been asking him forever, but now that I had a hat he wanted, I had some leverage. So I paid for his modeling services with the hat he's wearing in the pictures!

Along with my two new designs, I'm also trying to dye up some yarn to add to my shop. I've got a TON of white or off-white yarn just sitting around so I really want to start getting some of it listed!

I've also been talking with my LYS about selling my patterns. I finally got it together and brought them my Braided Cabbie Hat, Fishnet Beanie, and Townie Cap patterns. I also made them a couple of hats to display with my patterns! So if you're in Salida, CO go downtown and check out my designs at Fringe!

That's all my overworked brain can think of for right now! HAPPY HOOKING!


Can't stop me!

Dear Yarn Bomb Theif:
YOU CAN'T STOP ME!!! Mwah ha ha...

Actually, there's nothing sinister about yarn bombing. In my option it's a fun, lighthearted way to bring my favorite art to people who might not know crochet is not just for little old ladies (even though little old lady hookers are ROCKSTARS!!). I want to make people smile without them knowing how much work goes on behind the scenes to make it happen.

After my Harry Potter yarn bomb was stolen, I was incredibly upset. I'll admit it, I cried. BUT then I decided that I'm not going to let it stop me from having fun. This time I decided to do something much smaller. I had seen a picture of a yarn bomb someone else did and I've been dying to try it ever since. So I spent about 30 minutes making these fuzzy little circles to put around the push-to-walk buttons on the only (yes, I said only) stoplight downtown. Instead of putting them up in the cover of darkness, I decided to be brave and do it in the daytime! I took my 2 yr old son with my so I'd have an excuse for why I was walking so slow and taking pictures. I walked around around the intersection and put a YB on all 4 buttons. I checked later that evening as I went to work and they were all still there!!

And then the next day, they were gone. If you see anyone wearing these as scrunchies (look for women aged 25-35 - they were young when scrunchies were cool, haha) go tell them you know they stole their hair ornament and that's gross that they put something on their hair that was on a public stoplight. Hahaha.

My next YB will have to be taken off with scissors!!!! *Fist in air*



Stolen Surprise

Really... who wants to steal a 9 ft long scarf and a huge pair of crocheted glasses?

Some of you might know that Part 1 of the latest Harry Potter movie was released at midnight last night. I'm a bit of a dork and thought it would be really fun to do something different for fans of the book and the people in my town. There's a pair of statues in the main town park - lo and behold they're lions (it's a HP thing if you don't already know). My brain started working and I came up with a fun and whimsical (do people still say that?) surprise for my town. YARN BOMB!!!

It took me a few days to crochet, like I said the scarf was 9 ft long. I even hand drew a little tag that said Gryffindor on it out of a piece of felt so there'd be no question about why it was there. I took it out last night ad spent at least 30 minutes putting it on the lion (the glasses were a little tricky). I took a few pictures last night, but not many since it was 11pm and very dark. I went back home and set my alarm to get up early and take pictures in the daylight, before anything happened to it. I pulled up to the park and my heart dropped. It was gone.

So these are the only pictures I have because someone stole what could have been a funny, surprising, and all around great day for me and the people in my town. I hope you can at least enjoy these, since no one in my town will ever have the pleasure.

Getting ready to put it up
Shhhhh... it's a surprise, well it would've been.
It would've looked so cool in the daylight.

Final shot of me with my handiwork.

To the person who stole my hard work: You didn't just steal an abnormally long scarf, you broke my heart.


Updated Website

I've been working for a few days and it's finally ready to unveil! I have added two new pages where you can buy my patterns & custom hats directly from me. No Etsy/Ravelry membership or Paypal account needed! The pages can be found at the top of my website "Buy my patterns" and "Buy my hats". Take a look around, ask questions, visualize colors, and place your order for a custom Playin' Hooky design!!



Trying to Catch Up

Lately I've had the best problem! I don't have enough time to get all my custom orders done! Between updating my shop, taking care of my kids & my house, and my part-time job, it's been a crazy time! I'm so excited about all the amazing hats my customers have been requesting. It's true that I make them, but they pick the colors which is one of my favorite things to do! I LOVE working with people to make them a hat that is personal for them!

I've just been so busy lately that I haven't had much time to blog or get my website more organized. I'm trying to create a 'page' on my site where you can buy my hats & patterns direct, instead of going through Etsy, where a lot of my fans don't have an account. It'll be an easier checkout process and you can still order fully custom hats! I'll keep you updated and let you know when I'm ready to launch it!

In the meantime, here are a few of my recent orders & new photos for my shop:

New Photography:

Custom Orders:




Ok, maybe hate is too strong a word, but I'm talking about variegated yarn here. You know that familiar feeling when you walk into a yarn store - your hearts starts beating when you see all the amazing colors and different textures. Out of the corner of your eye, you see an amazing color combination and it's all contained in one skein! That's variegated yarn. But then you get home and start to use this perfect yarn with the perfect pattern, expecting to get a fabulous mix of colors. What you get instead is a finished product that has a distinct color pattern, exactly what you didn't want!

Well, maybe it's never happened to you, or maybe I'm just a yarn snob, but I tend to shy away from commercial variegated yarn. I'm not talking about the delicious hand-dyed stuff that's so good you should be required to get a prescription to buy it. Nope, I'm focused on the big name, usually crunchy-feeling 3-4 color yarn. Variegated yarn, by it's nature almost always gives you some pattern, just because the color repeats itself in fixed intervals. But knitted items made from this yarn usually turn out pretty cool looking. No one ever thinks of us hookers who want to achieve that same look.

(Neither one of these items were made by me, by the way. They're just examples of the color patterns)

Alas, I am working on a custom order right now for a kid's camo hat, I can pick the design, it just has to be camouflage colors. First of all, that's a pretty big range of color palettes, but I narrowed it down and and started searching the 3 places in my little town where I can buy yarn (Walmart, the high-end LYS, and a modest little craft store). Instead of buying 4 solid-colored skeins (most of which would not be used in the hat and I'd have a lot of yarn in colors I don't normally work with) I broke my rule.

I settled on a skein of surprisingly soft commercial yarn from the craft store (not Red Heart!!!!!) and got to work. I knew I couldn't bring myself to do a simple hdc or dc hat because I'd end up with exactly what I'm trying to avoid. Sometimes I like that variegated pattern, it's just not what I was looking for this time. I tried alternated rounds of hdc and sc. It was working for a while, but soon, a pattern started to emerge. It wasn't as obvious as the all-one-stitch hat would be, but I wasn't happy with it. Aside for the fact that I'm making this hat for my boss's kid, I knew I could create something much much better. The frogging began (frogging = ripping out your work. rip-it, rip-it, get it?).

I remembered an interesting stitch texture I saw once and thought, I could do that. It's called a 'basket weave stitch". basically it's a sc hat, but you work a ch between each sc and on the next round, work into the ch-space. Here's what resulted. There's still a pattern, but it's a little more subdue with a little more texture.In the end, I'm happy with it.




I didn't do anything for the spookiest holiday last year so I wanted to start early this year. My husband's already talking about 80's punks & mohawks while I'm thinking of going Madonna-Like-a-Virgin style. You remember in the 80's when she was cooler than Lady Gaga is now? (Sorry Gaga fans, but I the 80's!).

Through all my decoration scheming and costume planning I had my Etsy shop in mind. I wanted to make some Halloween hats that were cool enough to fit the rest of my shop (that's right, I said my shop was cool). The design process led me to modify two of the designs I already have listed in my shop to create some of the awesomest (it's a word...) Halloween hats on the block! So take a look!

I took my Avalanche Beanie and turned it into this Spiderweb Halloween hat. I can make it in ANY size and change the colors to whatever YOU want.

For this Candy Corn Hat I used my Woodland Hat without the earflaps. It's a simple hat, but it's yummy!

Celebrate Halloween with me for the whole month of October!! And let me know what size your melon is so I can get started making you a custom Playin' Hooky design.



It's been crazy

I know it's been FOREVER since I've written last, but my life has been a little nuts lately. My mom came for a visit, I sprained my wrist halting my crocheting, my daughter started pre-school, I started a new position at work, I reached my 100th Etsy sale and my 400th Twitter follower, I got a red ribbon (second place) at the CO State Fair, and I got a haircut. Ok, well, the haircut thing wasn't that crazy, but I thought it was worth mentioning. (Sorry, I'm in a weird mood).
The biggest thing that happened is that I sprained my wrist doing yard work. I couldn't move it for about two weeks, which means I had to put all my crocheting & designing on hold. I'd been close to finishing my wholesale strawberry hat order when it happened which was just plain frustrating. I literally tried on every single wrist brace in my little mountain town trying to find the one that was small enough for my tiny wrists. I finally found one and I'm happy to say that my wrist doesn't hurt at all anymore! So now I've reassumed my mission to finish the strawberry hats (only 6 left!!!) and taken on a few custom orders in the process! I plan on finishing a few more designs and finished hats to get ready for the Farmer's Market on October 9th where I hope to have hats & hand-dyed yarn. I hope to have my next "INSPIRATION MONDAY" installment next week where you can see more of what makes this hooker tick. I promise to write more often. Shameless Self-Promotion:
Pick any 3 Hooky patterns for a discounted price


Koi Pond Cowl

I dyed, you voted, I crocheted!
I hand-dyed this yarn with Kool-Aid, let you suggest what I should make, and then put it to a vote. So here's what you chose, the Koi Pond Cowl! I had a lot of fun with it! It's the first cowl I've made (ever!). It's even reversible with a different texture on each side. I also had to be my own model & photographer so I literally took this yarn from naked to fab all by myself!! So here are some of my favorite pictures!



Put it to a Vote!

I make hats. I make lots of hats. Sometimes I get in hat-land and can't get out (which I have to say I don't always mind!). But I was having trouble thinking of hat to make with my Koi Pond yarn so I asked you. I got some FANTASTIC suggestions that I wouldn't have thought of otherwise! So now there're too many good ideas to choose from and I wanted to put it to a vote. Let you help me decide. I already know which one I like best, but I want to see what your favorite is! PLEASE vote & tell all your friends that they can tell a hooker what to do!
Cast your vote by leaving a comment below! Thank you!!


Koi Pond

I had this colorway in my head for a while before I got the money to by some more yarn and try it out! I think it turned out PERFECTLY! I got my inspiration from Japanese-style paintings and dyed it with Kool-Aid just like the green yarn in my previous post. I'm still experimenting with color designs, but I have to get a few things done before I can really get started! What'd you think of my Koi Pond?


Inspiration Mondays: YARN DYEING!

The Monday after the 4th of July is a little sad for me this year because we had so much fun with friends and family that it's a little quiet around here. I'm trying to brighten my mood by thinking about the awesome project I worked on last week when I entered the world of yarn dyeing!
My last post was all about upcycling and in the process of researching for it, I discovered an AMAZING website (Leethal-picture to above is from her site) full of tutorials, including several on dyeing your own yarn. I decided to try my hand at it. Leethal's turuorials center mostly on hoew to dye with Kool-aid and since I'm not dye hard (haha, sorry, couldn't resist) just yet, I thought this would be a easy & inexpensive way to start.
In keeping with the upcycling theme of my project, I knew I couldn't buy the yarn first-hand so I set out to my local Salvation Army-type store called Caring & Sharing. I just found out they had a small selection of donated yarn so I decided to check it out. I had high hopes, but also wasn't expecting a miracle. After all, the yarn I needed had to be wool or another animal fiber and white so that it would take the dye. I dove into the bin (
not really, it was pretty icky) and lo & behold I found it! DK weight, white, wool yarn!! Since there are no price tags I didn't know what to expect when I headed to the checkout I was shocked again when I got the whole ball (I'm still not sure how many yards it is, but it's A LOT!) for FIFTY CENTS!!
I took my yarn and headed to the grocery store to buy my Kool-Aid. I want to make something for my daughter with it, so I let her choose the color and she picked Lemon-Lime.
I couldn't wait. I took my yarn and Kool-Aid home and started right away. First step was to turn some of the yarn into a hank so that each strand of yarn gets dyed. Not having a niddy-noddy made this a little harder, but I put two chairs together and went to town.
I soaked it in hot water to wash it and prepare the yarn for the dye. Kinda looks like spaghetti!
ADD THE DYE & let it soak!
I hung it outside to dry. There are white flecks where the hank was tied. It's my first attempt, what're you going do?
Last thing to do is twist in into a hank and take a beauty shot. I used a lot of yarn so the hank was cumbersome and looks a little 'fat'.
I haven't worked it up into anything yet, but I hope to soon and of course, I'll share my pictures!
So, what'd you think? Looks like fun, huh? I've got to try multiple colors next time!


Inspiration Mondays: REDUCE, REUSE, UPCYCLE!

Happy Monday!! To brighten up the fact that today's the day most of us go back to work I'm giving you another glimpse into what inspires me. Today, it's upcycling! Don't you mean REcycling. Nope, I mean UPcycling. For those of you who know what it means, congratulations on being so hip. But for everyone else, here's a quick look at the newest way to make your life a little more green.
Upcycling, according to Wikipedia, is "the process of converting useless products into new material or products of better quality". So basically, taking things that someone got rid of and making something useful and pretty!
Crafty people of every variety have been using their creative skill to reuse old materials for about a decade, but it just came into the limelight in the last few years. At least, that's when I figure out what everyone was talking about "upcycled this... upcycled that..." Some of the things people upcycle include license plates, vinyl records, typewriter letters, hardback book covers, picture frames, colored glass bottles, crayons, denim, and of course YARN.
Since I'm a hooker (crocheter for you non-yarnies) this upcycle blog is dedicated to people who make pretty yarn from old sweaters, and new clothes from old yarn! ENJOY!