Sunday, September 29, 2013

Back at Work

Man, this heat....

Summer may be done in Los Angeles, but the hot weather says otherwise.  And school has been draining me for the past couple of days.  I have one weekend class and another one in late October.  Hopefully I don't conk out by then.

Just last week, I got an order for a custom hat.  A brother from the East Coast (currently residing in L.A.) wanted something to cover his dreadlocks, but the hat somehow came out looking like this crown I have in a crochet pattern book, called the Notty Dread (so much for tweaking patterns).  Well, here it is...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Been AWOL for a week...and starting another business venture

Let's just say that school right now has been kicking my butt.  Specifically in the Financial Aid department.  But I'm not out yet...that is, until I graduate next year (*Luigi voice* yay for me).

It's going to be some time before I can get my crochet business off the ground, so I'm giving you readers out there this link:

Yup, I'm pushing jewelry.  I'm even thinking about making some myself.  That doesn't mean that I'm putting my hook and yarn down, though.  That reminds me...I got a little story to tell you.

I made quite a lot of jewelry when I was 12 years old.  Yes, I still crocheted, but I was a clumsy little kitten for the fact that every hook I touched wound up missing in action.  But back to the jewelry thing...I did all that.  I still have a birthday necklace hanging up on my door since 1996.  My mother would buy me little Lisa Frank jewelry and needlepoint kits from a place called Pic 'N' Save (now known to citizens of Southern California as Big Lots).

I'm showing my age, aren't I?  Well, I don't care.  (LOL)

While crocheting is still the bulk of my craft time, I imagine dabbling in other things.  Jewelry was recently one of them, except there was no imagining.  After visiting a Jamaican store in Long Beach to help boost my sales, the owner gave me some pieces of what used to be wind chimes.  So I went down to the local craft store, bought some findings and fish hooks, and made some earrings from those former chimes.  Needless to say, my dear auntie (the baby of the family) currently has them in her jewelry box somewhere.  True story.

Now in case you missed that link, here it is (again, of course):

I owe you guys some pictures of what I've been crocheting lately, except the school computers at the campus I'm attending lack the proper software.  I would use my Android phone to take photos, but even that wouldn't look so professional, would it?

I'll be back on Monday, everybody.  Sadly, this is all I can come up with, because my brain is so burnt out that I can't even think of a snappy outro to end this post.  I need a Sprite...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Favorite Crochet Blogs

I love meeting folks who love crocheting as much as I do, so today I'm comprising a list of my favorite crochet blogs on the interwebs.

I lied...this isn't actually a list.  But, I do have some favorite blogs I'll be showcasing for a few weeks...starting with this:

Purple Sage Designz

The creator of this blog has some beautiful crowns and skirts.  I believe if she were in Los Angeles, she'd make a killing at Leimert Park.  But hey, she enjoys life at her pace, and that's all that matters.  One of her tams that caught my eye was this hat with colorful feminine stripes (just like she calls it).  I like how she stitched the design.  I don't know the details to explain it, but I do know that she did some fine work.

And to the creator of this blog, Miss Angelika, I don't know what you're doing at the moment but I just want to say keep up the good work.  Hopefully you come across my lil' ol' blog and drop me a line.  And keep crocheting, too!  Good work begets more good work, in my opinion.

Right now I'll be calling it a night.  I need to get ready for a crochet and knit club gathering today, and I have a class to teach tomorrow.  I guess I'll be leaving this blog at a de facto cliffhanger for now...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Song of the Week - 9/17/2013

Time to put down the hook and yarn for a few minutes, so I can introduce today's Song of the Week.  But before I begin, let me just bow my head in silence in respect to the victims of yesterday's naval base shooting in Washington, DC.  This song is dedicated to them.

The Song of the Week is...

Let me just say that this song is one of the most beautiful pieces of hip hop to have ever been produced.  This is actually my all-time favorite song ever made.  Though I was only a mere eight years old at the time of its release, I immediately fell in love with it (during that era I was a big-time Kris Kross head).  To this day, this song still gets heavy rotation on my playlist whether I'm on a bus, train, or at home playing my Super Nintendo (Confession:  Whenever I hear this song, I automatically think of the classic video game Street Fighter II).

Well, that wraps up today's post.  I need to get back to stitching up some more crowns...

And...that's all she wrote.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Swapmeet Yarn Store

I somehow came across this yarn store in the Westlake District of Los Angeles while on a search for a new nose ring (I always lose 'em when I get sick).  It was located inside one of the many swapmeets along Alvarado, across from MacArthur Park.

The cliché of "kid in a candy store" has been overused per se, so I'll just say that this will be one of many places I plan on hitting up for yarn.  Though I don't mind the travel to certain areas to purchase some of the finest yarns my little wallet can afford, sometimes it can be tiring catching six buses and seven trains (it's obvious I'm exaggerating) to this city and that city just for a discount.

On that note, I'll be signing off.  Until already know the drill.  Now work those hooks!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm thinking of selling on ArtFire...

It's going to be quite a few bumps (and potholes if you live in L.A. like me) in the road, but I'll be selling some stuff on ArtFire once I get up off the ground.  I mean, really off the ground (school supplies cleaned me out for the time being).  So until then, excuse this little blip on the radar while I go home and crochet some, yesterday.

Speaking of which, I need to hurry up and stitch some hats faster than blast processing on a Sega Genesis.  I've been nursing a cold this past weekend and this sudden drop in temperature hasn't been a large help (Southern California has been going through a nasty heat wave for the past week).  So I have a lot of time to make up and plenty of yarn to use up.

But hold up now...don't expect me on ArtFire just yet.  There are still some technicalities to be worked out, such as cash (Everybody needs a few Jacksons and Franklins in their pockets, right?) and cards.  No, not the plastic...I really mean some business cards.  Gotta get my name out there somehow.  But first I have to pay bills so I can make sales (and unfortunately, pay more bills), then I can finally establish myself as a seller on ArtFire.

Well, I gotta split.  I'll be back like a TV show after a commercial break.

Song of the Week - 9/10/2013

In tribute to the late Cal Worthington, owner of many car dealerships on the West Coast (including Worthington Ford of Long Beach), the song of the week is...

Now don't start jumping out your Converse Chuck Taylors just yet.  Some of you might be expecting me to post somebody like Snoop Dogg up in here, but I'm trying to keep this blog clean (no disrespect to the Doggfather)!  (smile)  I chose this song because it reminds me of my youth, growing up in Los Angeles in the mid- to late 1980s, watching Cal's zany commercials when we weren't occupied with the radio, and just having fun in a nutshell.

Since I'm paying respects to well-known folks in the SoCal, I also want to say RIP to Mix Master Spade.  Thank you for bringing us good hip hop artists like King Tee, Toddy Tee, and DJ Pooh.

Now I shall pick up my hook and yarn again, and resume crocheting.  Hopefully I'll have some more stuff to post...and even sell.

In Memoriam - Cal Worthington

Today I shall put my hook and yarn down to pay respects to a beloved car dealer who made Angelenos like myself laugh with his wacky commercials...and his "dog" Spot.

Ah, yes...Cal Worthington, the man who started with a dealership in Texas in the 1950s and made his way through parts of the Southwest, one of those parts being Long Beach, California.  He brought laughs to SoCal airwaves with his random animal appearances in his commercials, and a catchy jingle we misunderstood as kids because if we sang it out loud within parents' earshot, we were guaranteed a pop in the mouth.

Mr. Worthington was just 92 years old at the time of his death.

From the New York Times:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Song of the Week - 9/3/2013

Here at The Soul Stitchery, I love to listen to music while I'm crocheting my butt off.  So what I'm going to do is list one of my favorite songs each week until I'm good and tired of doing it (or until break).  Ya dig?

The song of the week for today is...

(drum roll, please)

Ah, J damn producer to have graced this earth.  Sadly, he died over seven years ago from lupus complications.  But let us not mourn his transition to the hereafter; instead, we shall celebrate his music and his accomplishments.

Now the reason I chose this song is...  Okay, there's really no concrete reason except I just like this joint.  What other producer can make beats with only a 7-bar break?  (ignore this question)  Just sit back and take a good listen.  Or, if you're like me (wanting to hear a track sans lyrics), here's the instrumental.

The instrumental (from my take on the song) has more of an erotic aura compared to its album version.  But hey, that's just me.  They both sound almost equally erotic (thanks to Herbie Hancock's "Come Running To Me" as the core sample of the beat).

Now y'all stay tuned for the next Song of the Week, hear?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The 4 P's of Crochet

What exactly are the four P's of crochet?  For one, it's something I imagined when I couldn't finish a project (or product, in my case).  I'd get bored, frustrated, and just abandon the work altogether.  These lessons are also what I teach my students if they find themselves at a dead end, or not knowing how to do a stitch.  Here are the four P's of crochet:  Prayer, Patience, Practice, and Passion.
Prayer:  This one is most important, as it is the foundation for learning this craft.  As you sit and crochet, you are calling upon God to make something beautiful for people to admire.  You want them to feel the love and energy you've put into making your project, so always remember to pray before you begin.
Patience:  I try to emphasize this with my students when they get irritated from not doing a stitch correctly.  It works both ways because the students learn to be patient with every stitch they've done and will do, and I learn to be patient with my students as they encounter bumps in the road.  It's a great experience for both the pupil and teacher.
Practice:  Crocheting is easy once you get a feel for it, but it takes practice to make beautiful pieces.  It's like learning to speak a new language.  Crochet, in and of itself, is similar to a language.  One doesn't necessarily have to know all the terminology, but should at least be proficient enough to know the basics.  Once she has learned the basics, then she can leave the rest up to her imagination.
Passion:  If a person is interested in the art of crochet, she must want to do it.  She must also have that drive, ambition, and willingness to learn.  And once she learns, many doors will open.  Soon, she will have the inspiration to make and design many projects along the way.  It can start with a fellow crafter, a book, or the latest fashion.  All she needs are a hook, some yarn, and a vision.
And those, my crafting brethren, are the four P's of crochet.  Always use these lessons when you start a new project.  They will help to strengthen your spirit as you complete each stitch, and you'll even have fun in the process.