Thank you for supporting my dream

Small Business Saturday is to show support to the person behind the shop.

We run on pure passion (and caffeine). We give our whole selves to our work. We do it all for our families. And it wouldn't mean anything without you.<3 span="">

Thank you for supporting my dream. Please share, like, and comment to keep it going!

I'm giving you 50% off all my designs in my Ravelry shop today only. Use the code HOOKYBIZ when you check out.


Black Friday

❄️ The holidays are in full swing ❄️

That means you'd better get your hooks out! Get inspired in my Ravelry shop. Take 60% off your order of my original crochet patterns to make as gifts or keep for yourself! Use the code BLACKHOOKYFRIDAY when you check out.

play hard ... play hooky


A Decade of Crochet

I learned to crochet 10 years ago this week. I was pregnant with my oldest, Bryn, and after Thanksgiving dinner my sister-in-law got out her yarn after recently learning to knit and crochet.

At first we tried knitting, but it just didn't take so we pretty quickly switched to crochet. The rest is history.

Later that night we went to a friend's house. I, of course, took my hook and my swatch. I worked on that swatch - all the while thinking that a sl st was actually a sc - until we left. It was the ugliest, wonkiest, little yellow swatch, but I was seriously proud of myself - it was the start of something amazing.

I started Playin' Hooky Designs a few years later, but suffice it to say, after that first swatch I never put my hooks down. Thank you for giving me these ten years with you!

I'm giving you a special discount in my Ravelry shop today to celebrate. It'll keep your mind off your crazy family this weekend ;) Use the code HOOKYTEN when you checkout in my Ravelry shop.

play hard ... play hooky


#crochetcheat - messy colorwork

When you're changing colors... a LOT... who else hates getting tangled up in your yarn? The only thing worse is weaving in ends (but we won't go there).

So let me show you what I do. It keeps those yarn strands completely untangled, and once you get the hang of it, it's faster than dropping your unused yarn after every color change. Winning.

I only do it this way when I'm changing colors literally every stitch - like certain rounds of my Disc or Old School Beanie. It gets a little trickier if you try to make it work with longer color sections. But give it a try to see if you can work it.


Looky Looky...

I got hooky!!

Designed by Ms Hooky herself (that would be me) and exclusively online, my new tees and hoodies are just in time for Fall.

I'm not trying to become the next new tshirt designer, but when an idea comes to you, you just have to GO with it. And I couldn't hold this one in any longer.

Choose your style and your color, but they're only going to be available until September 2! Click on the picture to order!

Pin it for later with the button to the left. (But don't wait too long or they'll be gone!)

play hard ... play hooky


I can't stop watching

Ever wonder what would happen if you took a blade to a cone of thread? This is the answer...

play hard... play hooky


9 Years of Playin' Hooky and a Surprise

Today marks 9 years since the beginning of Playin' Hooky. When I started it all, I had no idea how much my life would be affected by my little business. Your support helped (actually, is helping) me through the hardest time of my life. Your laughs make my days brighter. Your questions help fuel my own crochet knowledge. I feel like we've shared our lives together even though we really don't know each other... and that completely blows me away.

To celebrate, I'm going live on Facebook tonight (6ish mountain time) with some HUGE surprises that you won't want to miss. Like my page and join me live tonight!!

play hard ... play hooky


Bryn's Butterflies at the Library

Some of my posts are sarcastic, others are funny, but some are serious too. This one is heartfelt. It's a post for my Bryn. She's my daughter who is now watching over me instead of living by my side. We lost her almost 4 years ago - just after her 5th birthday. Her 9th birthday is on Saturday and I've been going through periods of both avoidance and preparation.

I try to stay positive, upbeat, and excited for you, but sometimes it's hard. Even in the midst of everything my family has been through, I try to see the positive side. At least publicly. Privately it can be a little harder to always see the light, especially as we get closer to her birthday and the day that we lost her. So this post is me fighting with the two halves of my grief.

You may know that every year in April I orchestrate a yarn bomb for her birthday. I choose to celebrate her life and spread the joy that she had to others through those yarn bombs. In the past you've helped me create a flower garden on the fence at what would have been her elementary school, candy to hand out to anyone who needed a smile, and butterflies for the trees in the park.

It's the 4th year that we've had to celebrate without her and nothing about it is getting easier. Just the opposite. In my low moments I feel farther and farther away from her and even though her birthday didn't exactly sneak up on me (I tend to feel it very strongly as it approaches), it was hard to muster the energy to create something new this year. 

The response last year was SO overwhelming that I had enough butterflies to not only decorate the trees in the park, but also a tree in my town's Holiday Park and still have three bags of butterflies. They haven't been able to fly so instead of asking you to make something else, I wanted to give them their day in the sun. One of Bryn's favorite places was our local library - pushing the button that opens the door is pretty much the highlight of all my kids' day, not to mention story time, and the amazing children's librarian - so I teamed with them to create something that will spread smiles and joy.

I'm forever grateful that I live in such a supportive community and also for my extended crochet family who've been there through thick and thin. Words can't explain how much it has uplifted me when I needed it the most. 

So now that I've cried a little, I want you to step into Bryn's Butterflies...

play hard ... play hooky


She grabbed her rocking chair and did THIS!

My 3 year old daughter, Tara, grabbed her rocking chair and took it to a corner of the kitchen. She didn't want to see what she was doing, but when I rounded the corner I stumbled on maybe the cutest thing ever. I stumbled over myself to grab my phone fast enough to take a video before she stopped (sorry about the dryer noise in the background #reallife).

That's my girl!


play hard ... play hooky


Bunny Slope Teether for Babies - Free Crochet Pattern

Here's the story of my latest free crochet pattern. Scroll down to the Print Friendly button for the pattern.

My neighbor had a baby 6 months ago - just about 6 months after I had my baby girl. Even before he was born, I started thinking about what I could make for him.

Everyone loves babies. Well even more so if you are good with a hook, chances are you love crocheting for babies. That means the internet is chock full of ideas... some good, some, well, you know what I mean. I found myself cruising patterns for hats, diaper covers, photo props, loveys, Amish puzzle balls, booties, blankets (but let's face it, we all know I have too much hooky ADD to finish a blanket), rattles, mobiles... you name it and someone has probably tried to crochet it.

I eventually settled on a crocheted ring rattle-type thing. I planned to make the ring around a set of gorgeous customized wooden rings I found on Cake in the Morn on Etsy (I'll wait while you go check out her shop... seriously go... I'll be here when you get back). I even had the baby's name burned into a ring to make it even more special. 

All that was left was to make the ring. Here's how that went down: I'm so excited about giving them this gift!... He's still to little to use it though... Ugh, I still need to make that ring... I don't feel like making the ring today... I'll try to make it now, but I have so many orders... Ok, the holidays are over and the baby is getting big enough to play with it so I need to sit here until it's done... Sitting here trying to make it... I don't like this... It's twisting weird... Why is my colorwork shifting so bad?.. This will never hold the weight of those wooden rings... I give up.

So there my pretty little wooden rings sat, alone and naked - they looked so sad and kept reminding me of my shame. By this point I felt like a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad neighbor for never giving them a present to celebrate their baby boy. (This is the same neighbor who saved my coffee that day so you can imagine how guilty I felt.)

And then it happened. True inspiration struck. I had it. I'm going to make a ribbon teether! It's perfect. It's removable, washable, quick to make, and baby safe. YAAASSSSS!! I was so excited that I had three made by the end of the next day.

My fans on Facebook asked if I would write the pattern, and of course I agreed. Needless to say I couldn't repeat that whole agonizing process the next time one of my friends had a baby so I knew I needed to write it out anyway. I gave it the name Bunny Slope because I think it looks like cute little bunny ears and I had to give a nod to my local ski culture.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "This is a small project and it's a free pattern. It can't be that good." Well, you're wrong. Just WRONG. This isn't your average free pattern... you know what I'm talking about. This is a meticulously written pattern with every detail including a full page of new photo tutorials, specific materials needed, stitch explanations... everything you've come to expect from my patterns. Just because it's free doesn't mean I skimped on you.

So scroll down and click the print-friendly page to access this fun pattern. You can also find it on my Ravelry page! You'll want to make several so you can wash one when it gets dirty. As always, send me an email if you have any questions or problems. And don't forget to add yours to the Ravelry projects page so we can all revel in the cuteness.

play hard ... play hooky



My home team won Super Bowl 50!! Help me celebrate Peyton Manning's record breaking 200th win (or maybe this will take the pain away if you're a Panthers fan). Click the picture to go to my Ravelry shop and use the code below.

play hard ... play hooky


Phil Saw No Shadow!

That means an early Spring for us and a S-A-L-E for you!!

Use this coupon in my Ravelry shop to get 35% off your patterns for the rest of the day only! Hurry, Phil says there's not much winter left so make some beanies while you can still wear them.

Happy Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow – an early spring is his forecast!
Posted by Fox News on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

play hard ... play hooky 


Groundhog Day 2016

It's that time of year again! It's Bill Murray's least favorite holiday with a glorified rat and yet thousands will flock to a small corner of Pennsylvania to see if Punxsutawney Phil will get us out of winter early.
"This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather."
 Every year I take a guess at what Phil will do and then give you a sale if I'm right!! This year I'm a little torn. I think the weather is going to keep him from actually seeing his shadow, but I also don't think we're going to get out of a longer winter - especially because it's DUMPING at my house right now. SO I'm torn... But my OCD-centric brain wants to say that he will NOT see his shadow bc of the clouds.

So there it is. My prediction for tomorrow. Lets see if the prognosticator of prognosticators can pull it out for the win!

Come back tomorrow to see if I was right and to get the coupon code for my annual Groundhog day sale!

play hard ... play hooky