November 25, 2013

DIY Holiday Sale 2013!

Give handmade this year with Naturally Nora Crochet's second annual
DIY Holiday Sale!
Sale will be starting this Friday, November 29, and running through the weekend until Monday December 2, Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
Sale will be running in both my Etsy and Ravelry shops. 
With a minimum purchase of $8.00 on either site, simply apply the coupon code GIVEDIY at checkout for 20% off of your total purchase.
The coupon code can be applied to any of my almost 100 patterns, AND multiple pattern discount listings ARE eligible!
This is an amazing, once a year opportunity to stock up on all those patterns you have been favoring, as well as those you want to make for your loved ones this holiday season.
*Limit one coupon code per customer, please :).
*Coupon code valid 12:00 AM, Friday, November 29 through 11:59 PM, Monday December 2.



Keep Creative & Happy Shopping!
Nicole

On Etsy:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/NaturallyNoraCrochet?ref=si_shop
On Ravelry:
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/naturally-nora
Or, Craftsy: 
http://www.craftsy.com/user/722648/pattern-store

September 28, 2013

The Beau & Dot Set

I have just published a new beret and mitten pattern set, and I LOVE it! I was inspired by a sheet of green polka dot felt I purchased from A Market Collection. The felt is unique, adorable, and very high quality.

This pattern set is feminine, old-fasioned, and simply adorable. Both patterns are also quite quick to work up, making them the perfect choice for a special gift. Worked in a double strand of worsted weight fabric, they are warm and cozy, with a soft, high loft finished fabric. The pattern also includes a template and instructions for the sweet felt bows!





Keep Creative,
Nicole

http://www.etsy.com/shop/NaturallyNoraCrochet?ref=si_shop
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/naturally-nora
http://www.craftsy.com/user/722648/pattern-store



September 22, 2013

The Library Press

Evening, everyone!
I have a friend named Amy.  Our lives are in quite different places and we each have our own circles of close friends, but I have told Miss Amy many times that I think we are soul mates :). There are some people who you just know are made of the same stuff as you. I've come across a few in my life time-cut from the same cloth.  A wool tweed, maybe a dainty floral, perhaps a polka-dot. I guess it depends on the day.
Amy is an extraordinary talent in her own right, so I had to share her creative imprint, The Library Press.



Amy is the picture of self-depricating humility, yet is just so extremely talented with her design work. The girl has two of her own letter presses in her garage and has designed and created several invitations and other design work for events I have been a part of, including weddings. Her work is unique, graphic, clean, and inventive, as well as having that little vintage flavor that y'all know I adore :).  She is an artist in a way that is accessible, endearing, and whimsical.
Check out the gallery of books, prints, and designs on her site. My daughter was blessed to receive one of her original books for her baby shower. It is so imaginative and adorable, I would eat it if I could!
Hope you enjoy her work as much as I do. As my designs are a little taste of who I am, I think you get just a small peek at a fantastic person through Amy's work.

Keep Creative,
Nicole


September 19, 2013

The Shasta Collection

I have quite literally been adding to this collection for the last nine months. Sometimes, it has been a labor of love. Other times, I have abandoned a design right in the middle of testing because it just wasn't feeling right. However, I finally have a collection of designs that I am really happy with.

The Shasta Collection includes six unique crochet wearables worked in wool roving yarn for the coldest months of the year. The rustic, minimalist feel of these designs has been inspired by the pristine, frosted beauty of northern California’s Mount Shasta in the winter-time. Enjoy textured stitches, over-sized pom-poms, and cozy fits as you crochet these special pieces to keep your loved ones warm all winter long.










and just because I love this picture...

Get hookin' for the upcoming season!

Keep Creative,
Nicole

On Etsy:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/NaturallyNoraCrochet?ref=si_shop
On Ravelry:
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/naturally-nora
Or, Craftsy: 
http://www.craftsy.com/user/722648/pattern-store






September 11, 2013

The Books & Pens Collection


The pattern writer actually writes! I am FINALLY publishing my newest collection, The Books and Pens Collection. Ok, so it's a little late for back to school, but when you teach, even part time, and you have a kid in school, even pre-school, this time of year tends to get a little nutty. Despite the delay, I am very happy with how the collection turned out. It already features one of my very best selling patterns, The Julia Sweater, which launched the entire collection into being.
The title of the collection came from The White Stripes absolutely endearing tune "We're Going to be Friends." It may not be as sophisticated or whatever, but, as much as I love The White Stripes original version, I prefer the Jack Johnson version from The Curious George soundtrack-sue me, but it is just so sweet! Also, this collection has quite a bit of inspiration from Russian nesting dolls, or matryoshka. I have no clue why (perhaps it's the bright colors), but I always associate matryoshka with autumn and back to school time. I know, weird. I'm so ok with that label.
So, for your perusal, may I present...

The Books & Pens Collection features sweaters and headwear suited for
the cooling weather of the back-to-school autumn season. In such a
busy time of year, full of new friends, these chunky and super-bulky
crochet pieces are the perfect option for working up a unique show-piece
in no time at all.










“Fall is here, hear the yell,
back to school, ring the bell,
brand new shoes, walking blues,
climb the fence, books and pens,
I can tell that we are gonna be friends.”
-We’re Going to be Friends
The White Stripes

Keep Creative,
Nicole

On Etsy:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/NaturallyNoraCrochet?ref=si_shop
On Ravelry:
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/naturally-nora
Or, Craftsy: 
http://www.craftsy.com/user/722648/pattern-store



September 1, 2013

Misson: Blankets for My Babies Phase 3

This post has been a looonnnggg time coming, but we have had a very busy summer, indeed! In fact, there will very soon be another baby in our house to make a blanket for! Between two little ones, and first trimester nausea and fatigue, there have been days when I barely have the energy to brush my teeth, let alone block crochet squares :)!
I have just this week finally completed blocking all of the squares for both blankets!  In the meantime, I have also been working on the arrangement and joining of blanket #1, but that is for another day and another post. Today is all about...

Phase 3: Blocking
First, a (very) short quiz: Which stack of granny squares has been blocked?




If your answer was the stack on the right, congratulations on passing your pop quiz! You can clearly see in this photo the magic of blocking. The squares on the left are variant in size, lumpy and bumpy, and will not lay flat. The blocked squares on the right are all even, lay flat, and will join together nicely.
The process of blocking, especially for a large project like this, is time consuming and can be tedious. Nevertheless, you can see just from one simple comparison photo that the results are more than worth the work.
For this project, I used a spray blocking technique. There are a myriad of techniques you can use for blocking, but this one was the most appropriate for my stacks and stacks and stacks of squares.

Materials:




1) Finished, un-blocked, crochet project.
2) Spray bottle that has the capacity for a fine mist (purchased at Home Depot).
3) Rust resistant pins (purchased at Hobby Lobby; square, brass pins work well).
4) Something to pin to. I used Crochet Dude blocking foam puzzle from Michael's-you can also use just a plain old folded towel, however, I found the printed grid on the pieces to be helpful for maintaining size consistency for this particular project.

I started by pinning down one corner, then stretched the opposite corner to the desired size and pinned there. 


Stretching opposite corners allowed me to block the square more evenly. I chose a square that had the most to stretch so I could show you just how amazing the transformation can be. You can also see how useful the square pins are. I can pin two points at once, saving myself pins and time.

Now, I pinned down the two remaining opposite corners to square the whole piece up.


Next, I worked my way with my pins around each side of the granny square, making it as even as possible with the corners I pinned first. I worked two opposite sides first to avoid awkward, uneven stretching.


Then, I worked the remaining opposite sides.


Now that the square was all pinned down, I got my spray bottle out and set it to a fine spray to give it a nice, even soaking. I wanted the yarn soaked through, but not dripping wet.




Finally, the square was ready to dry. If you know me, than you know that I pretty much let the sun do my work for me if I possibly can. So, true to nature, I set my squares out to dry in the California summer sun. Most of the time, my squares were dry within two hours of initial pinning.


Also, I would usually be able to fit between 5 and 8 squares on the two blocking puzzles I purchased. I could easily have purchased more puzzle pieces and pins and done a whole slew of squares at one time, but my wise dad taught me that you are either spending money or you are spending time. This summer, I had more time than money, so I blocked in smaller batches :).

Coming soon... Phase 4: Arrangement (Yay!! My favorite part!)