Sunday, October 27, 2013

Counting Your Blessings

Yesterday, after an energy-draining Labor Studies class, I took a trip down to Hollywood (the biggest cesspool in Los Angeles) and visited a business connect and a good friend of mine.  She gave me a bag of some of the most beautiful yarn ever produced.  So to show my appreciation, I plan on making some lovely crowns.
In a nutshell, count your blessings and cherish what you've got.  You never know when somebody in your closest circles or a random stranger will pay it forward.
Now I'm going to crochet my butt off with this new yarn.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Potpourri - 10/23/2013

Man, if you only knew...

I'll be ecstatic once I graduate and get my degree.  Haven't had much time to make anything as of yet.  I guess you can say I've been suffering from "crafter's block."

Aside from those random thoughts, there's a reason why I call this post "Potpourri."  It is because I'm posting random thoughts.  Here goes...

Random Thought #1

A month ago, I found some beautiful wool-blend yarn.  Now that may be nothing to marvel at, but the location where I found it made me do a double take once I saw it.  It was at Walmart.  Of all places that I would find top quality wool-blend yarn, I'm surprised I would find it there!  And, it wasn't just any location.  I had found this yarn at what is considered to be the most ghetto, unkempt, low-brow store in Los Angeles.  That would be the Walmart in South Central L.A., located on the Crenshaw strip.  What was even crazier was that I found this yarn in the clearance box at this location.  Normally the yarn would go for five dollars and some coins at a fabric and crafts store, but I happened to snatch this up for a measly Washington.  There wasn't much yarn, but I had enough to make this little number...

Amazing what you can do with a tiny roll of yarn
Random Thought #2

I have a question for my readers and fellow Angelenos out there:  Who the [bleep] is Bubblehead?!  Seriously, who is she?

Some Bubblehead billboard on the corner of 63rd & Crenshaw in Los Angeles

A close-up
When I first saw this billboard, I thought it was an ad for some big-budget, low-brow comic book movie.  Wrong, I was.  I would see this posted on every bleeping bus bench and shelter around the city.  After some extensive research (wasn't that much research done anyway), I found out that the person behind this garbage (which is supposed to be street art in his mind, but is actually a Sony Playstation reject) goes by the name of Mike McNeilly.  He plasters this crap all over upscale neighborhoods in Los Angeles.  Not too long ago, he started plastering this Bubblehead bitch throughout South Central.  As a result, I'd like to make this statement to Mr. McNeilly:

No one in the 'hood gives a [bleep] about Bubblehead.  That is all.
Also, if you want to talk about real street art, Mike McNeilly, then ride west down Slauson Avenue and look to your right.  Take a good look along those train tracks and you'll see actual street art.  Better yet, I'll post some on this blog if you ever come across it.

The two pictures THAT is what you call street art.  So Mike McNeilly, [bleep] you and [bleep] Bubblehead.
And that's my potpourri for today.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Crochet Across The Pond - What You Should Know

Have any crocheters out there been in this situation?

You are at a library searching for some crochet pattern books and you come across one with some of the coolest designs.  You decide to check out this book, go home, pick your favorite pattern, and follow the instructions.  After working on said pattern, your design comes out looking wonky.  Could there be a reason for this?

Chances are, if your work in progress looks busted, then your pattern was printed in British terminology.

They say that British and American people (respectively) speak in a different language.  The same can go for crochet.

You can read a pattern for so long and continue scratching your head until you draw blood while asking yourself, "What the [bleep] is a half treble?!"  Good question.  *clears throat*  Allow me to clarify...

A "half treble" is what we Americans (that goes for Canadians, too) know as a "half double" crochet stitch.  Here's a low-budget chart for the term differences.

single crochet = double crochet
half double = half treble
double = treble
treble/triple = double treble
skip a stitch = miss a stitch
gauge = tension
I would also suggest visiting the website below if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about:
So the next time you find yourself stumped over following a British crochet pattern, try digesting your expletives and not puking them all over the place.  Instead, just remember this blog post about the different crochet terms across the pond, smile, finish your work, and keep smiling until you've stretched out your lips.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

No More Heat Waves/Respecting The Craft

Well I can finally breathe a sigh of relief...for the time being.  We got a taste of Indian Summer here in Los Angeles, and lately it's been a drag for business.  In a nutshell, I couldn't push my hats out there because of the heat, weather-friendly or otherwise.  Though I may be a Summer baby, I'm not used to temperatures being hotter than fish grease.  That results in me showing up late to Leimert Park to sell anything (anybody out there who knows about CP Time understands what I mean) almost unsuccessfully.  That in itself is a profit killer.

Though I love to crochet (as it keeps me from blowing a fuse), we crafters gotta pay bills, too.  We have to pay for materials such as hooks, yarn, and other bits and pieces needed to make some stuff.  We even have to pay dues on sites like ArtFire and Etsy just for daily operations to keep the online business running.  And that can drain our pockets just as fast as draining hot water from a bathtub.

That brings us to another discussion (hence the double title).  Let me spell this out in bold print so that our future customers can take a hint.

Read it exactly how I typed it.  There are crocheters out there who bust their butts (and ash up their fingers) for hours making whatever their niche product is.  For instance, my specialty is hats.  Certain hats might take me forty-five minutes at best, while others take me a few hours.  What some people fail to realize why crafters charge a specific price for their crocheted pieces is that they should take in the cost of time, overhead, and supplies.  I and countless others (whom I'm sure most crafters have encountered) have come across customers who would try to nickel-and-dime their way out of paying full price for a hat, shawl, or whatever.  Put it this way--it ain't gonna fly.  Cheating a crafter out of the original price for a handmade piece is on the same level as calling somebody's mother a bitch--most likely guaranteed to receive a dirty look or even a tongue lashing.
So just remember those three words in bold, underlined print in case you find yourself wanting to purchase something hand-crafted either for you or as a gift to a friend.  These words are indication enough that there are people out there (much like myself) who take crocheting very seriously.  However, if you are one to bargain for something handmade for a cheap, tacky price, then consider getting something made from a knitting machine in a factory.
Well, that closes this chapter for tonight...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Song of the Week - 10/8/2013

Today's song is...

While I am a crafter and love the art of crochet, I'm also a hip hop head.  Just thought I'd point that out.  However, if you don't care about that last statement, skip to the rest of the post.

All that aside, this song foretells the demise of the rap industry.  If you listen hard enough, you'll know what I'm talking about.  Nowadays, these new-wave bubblegum rappers will sell their soul just to go platinum and make millions of dollars for (excuse my French) putting out shit.  But lyricists who put out music with a message don't get radio play or recognition.

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet today.  I'm having a fix for some sour cream & onion potato chips and a giant bottle of H2O.

And That's All, Folks!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Crowns Galore!

Feeling like TheraFlu...Good to be back.

I've been under the radar for a while, mostly on yarn runs and tackling a weekend class.  But here are some recent hats I made...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Songs of the Week - 10/1/2013

To make up for missing last week's post, I'm going to share with you two of my favorite songs of my life soundtrack.  The first one is...

Now tell me this ain't some good, nasty, stank breath funk music, and I'd have to make you write me an 8-page essay on the various old school artists from the '60s to the '90s, included with works cited in MLA format.

Now let me warn you, this next song I'm about to post has a highly sensitive nostalgia bomb, so play at your own risk (unless you're willing to get hit with a form of shrapnel called Memories of the '80s).

This song right here equals two words: Saturday Morning.  I don't know about any of you reading this post, but a weekly custom in a black household was that after the cartoons were finished and the kids were done munching on some cereal, it was time to put on Soul Train.  Though I may have been born in 1984, I still remember it as if it were yesterday.  The intro, the music, the dance moves, the fashions--you name it.  And the host himself, with that smooth, silky baritone voice, Mr. Don Cornelius, you will be missed.  And last I mention, the ever-famous Soul Train Line towards the end of the show had me and my cousins glued to the TV.  Memories, indeed...

Well, those are my songs of the week.  Also, my thoughts on this post:  You can really start a house party with YouTube, the way technology is.  Now I'm going to pick up my hook and yarn again and get back to crocheting some more dread hats, as I nod my head to some of this good funk right 'chea.