I Quit my job

Yup. I did it. Friday the 13th was my last day as a medical coder and I am moving on within my company to a part-time position. Times are really weird right now with the virus outbreak and the national emergency, so I was really concerned about even getting to start my new job. Luckily for me nothing is affected at this time and everything is going as planned.

Since my life is taking on a new adventure and I will have a little more free time, I decided to start a vlog. I’m also planning to do instructional videos and things like that in the crafty nature, so that’ll be here in the future. For now you can see my first chaos log below on YouTube.

The 2020 Hats Adventure

Back in 2018 my mother gave me A TON of yarn. Like two big trash bags full.

I have a Pinterest board full of hat patterns around the internet that I just haven’t gotten around to trying out.

With an out of control stash and crochet being a better craft choice right now (portability), I’ve decided to challenge myself to go through the pins and make each hat or discard it for being spam. I figure this is a great way to build up an inventory of things to put in the Weaver’s guild fall sale, use up my stash, clean up my bookmarks, and create blog content.

Stay tuned for an upcoming hat.

DIY faux leather earrings…

Making these cuties is not for those who aren’t willing to try a whole bunch of times and learn from their failure.  If you’re just looking for a pair of these earrings, you’ll be able to purchase them from my shop soon.

While I haven’t found “THE WAY” to successfully cut them every time, I’m getting close, so this may be more of a recipe than a tutorial.

STEP 1: Gather the supplies

STEP 2: Assemble the materials
-Cut your leather a bit bigger than your design. I want mine to be about 1.5 inches tall so I’m going to cut my leather into 2 inch strips.
-Cut your heat transfer vinyl slightly smaller than the leather so that none hangs over, or else it’s going to stick to your ironing surface.
-Iron those together. Heat up your iron, start in the middle and do one smooth movement, pressing hard and avoiding wrinkles. Turn and go the opposite way. If you get wrinkles… that piece is a waste.

-Place your strip on your mat leather side up. Yup. LEATHER SIDE UP!
-Cut a piece of transfer tape a little bit bigger than your leather strip. This is going to help hold it on your mat. Slowly and carefully apply it with a scraper tool. (I’m using a mini spatula). Make sure it’s nice and smooth and not going to move!

-Make note of the placement/measurements and then load your mat into the silhouette.

STEP 3: Design time!
-Setup your design to fit the space where your materials are on the mat. It’s important to note that you should start with simple designs to ensure good cuts. I also recommend not cutting the tiny hole at the top because it hasn’t worked out well for me and it’s pretty easy to use a thumb tack to get it.

STEP 4: Cuttin’ time!
-Go to the send screen and check your settings. Using the ratchet blade, you’ll need to manually twist it to 10 and load it into the black adapter then the tool 1 spot on your machine. Make sure to hold it all the way down as you lock it into place.
Settings that worked best for me:

STEP 5: Press send and anxiously babysit

When it’s done, do not unload. Try to pull up one side and see if everything got cut. You can clean the blade and re-send the cut if you do not unload the mat.

If it appears to have cut or you’re livin’ on the edge and not checking, unload and take it to your weeding space.

STEP 6: Weed it
With any luck the excess material will come right up like magic, leaving your shapes cut out like perfect little presents. Pick out any little pieces from the inside of the design. Peel away the transfer tape from the leather side and peel away the plastic from the HTV side.

STEP 7: Assemble
-Use your thumb tack to poke a hole for a jump ring.
-Use pliers to open a jump ring and slide it through, then close it.
-Use pliers to open another jump ring and slide it through the one you just closed AND an earring hook.

STEP 8: Admire your work

January 31

Oh this week has been quite a week.

My youngest got a tummy bug and gave it to me, resulting in 2 days of missed work, Plus all the misery of being sick and having a tiny sick person to take care of on top of it.

I didn’t do anything related to learning programming, unless thinking about it counts. Missed the weekly knit night that I like to go to for like… the 4th week in a row, because someone always seems to be sick/have a headache/just can’t on Thursdays lately.

This weekend I’m planning to learn how to make earrings with my silhouette cameo 4, but I have to get well enough to make a trip to the craft store.

My January goal was to simply get into using this blog and it’s an ongoing goal to consistently use it… which I’ve barely made. But I made it.

February’s goal is to add decals to my Etsy shop and learn to make earrings and add those too. Which doesn’t seem all that lofty, but the idea of shipping anything terrifies me like you wouldn’t believe.

Hello 2020!

“New year, New adventure.” and have I got some adventures planned.

Learn Programing: This is something I’ve been working on with a couple of self study courses for about a month now. So far, I’ve gotten into learning some HTML and using a text editor.

Create youtube content: I’ve uh… written down a few video ideas for machine knitting, but I’m not sure that I want to commit to doing a vlog. I definitely do want to create some beginner instructional videos. Oh I did actually make a channel to upload these eventual gems to.

Post to this blog weekly: I’ve been terrible at this. I might have been too narrow in trying to just be all about crafts. Not that that won’t be a focus, but meowski made is about everything I’m creating, including all the aspects of my life. I’ve also just signed up for amazon affiliates to try to monetize and motivate myself that way. I do not plan on becoming a click-bait site, where you have to DIG for the thing you came for. I close those upon opening.

Earn money in passive ways: Who wouldn’t want to earn money for practically no work, or for doing something they actually like doing? This is sort of an “if I can figure it out, it’d be super awesome” things. Because people do it. I want to be one of those people. Like, I REALLY want to be one of those people saying they made a boatload of money for 2 hours of work this month. Not that it’s likely to happen but if I put absolutely zero effort into it, it definitely won’t happen.

Learn to use my cameo: I bought a silhouette cameo 4 last week and made several vinyl decals for fun. I freaking love it! I even like the process called “weeding”. I made my son and his birthday twins matching t-shirts for a playdate too! They all three thought the shirts were pretty cool and changed into them.

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I haven’t done a very good job of maintaining a blog. Not that I haven’t wanted to… but because I haven’t made it a priority and it’s so easy to {insert any excuse here}

Sitting down to write isn’t a thing I get really excited about. Maybe I’m just not a writer? Or an I’m an over thinker. Or I think it’s all been done before or, or… who knows? I don’t have to be good at something to do it.

So for 2020 I’m going to start a YouTube channel.

My first goal is going to be to put some effort into doing a series of machine knitting how tos that make sense, from start to finish that will actually help people learn to cast on, and cast off.

Tutorial: DIY character hat without a pattern

I occasionally make character hats for friends and family… but I usually don’t use a pattern. I get ideas from pictures on Pinterest, something I’ve seen in the real world or from the person’s interests. Here’s an example of my process with a goomba hat.

Step 1: find your inspiration. For this goomba hat I found a simple google image of a goomba for reference.

Step 2: pick your colors and make your base. For most hats that’s just making a basic double crochet hat in the appropriate size.

Step 3: make all the pieces for your character. For this hat I needed two eyes, an eyebrow, one mouth and two teeth.

Step 4: lay out your pieces and pin for placement if needed.

Step 5: sew down each piece and weave the tails in.

Step 6: for perfectionists (like me) accept that there will be flaws because you’re not perfect, and that no one will know it didn’t turn out exactly the way you wanted it to.

You now have a finished character hat!

Here are a couple of other hats I’ve made in this manner.

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Pig

Pug

Thomas the train

Princess Leia hat

I decided to make a Princess Leia hat for my newborn this week.

Since it’s a pretty simple design, I decided to just wing it.

First I made a basic double crochet hat… but the top was too pointy for my liking, so I made a second hat starting with round 1 as single crochet instead of double. Left hat is started with double, right is started with single and switched to double.

Biggest part of the hat done!

Now most of the hats I’ve seen photos of use braids for the buns… but I wanted something that might stand a chance at surviving being washed, so I made two crochet i-cords.

I made them the length of my arm, which coiled up to the size I wanted. I then left super long tails to sew each into its coil.

Once they were sewn into their bun shape, I tried to get proper placement, but woke up the wiggly newborn. The placement is great… if the hat is turned “backward” so I just decided the back is the front.

Once all three pieces are made and you’ve got your placement, you’re just left with sewing them together, and weaving those ends in.

I also wound up finding a free tutorial for a costume and crochet the dress to go with it. If I made another little dress I think I’d leave the back open and use a lighter weight yarn.

The pattern for that can be found here: Family Bugs Crochet Designs.

And of course, here it is all together! (Roxy wasn’t the most cooperative participant)

Hacked Machine!

I finally hacked my electronic knitting machine!

Yep me, I did it! not the engineer of the household.  I had to watch a bunch of tutorial videos, read guides, mess with circuit boards, install several programs, and flash the board.  All things that for a less than technical person… sound pretty daunting.  Plus, the hacked circuit board doesn’t fit inside the the machine’s housing… which houses the machine’s row counter, and I’m not 100% sure I could deal with not having.  I thought I’d just set the cover over the wires with the circuit board hanging out the back……… and I broke a small piece of the machine, which allows the original housing to sit where it belongs while making the row counter completely functional.  So I guess this break was actually a semi lucky one.

It’s finally working and I’m thrilled about it although, I’ve only done one quickie test.  It looks like the hard part now will be to format images  to knit properly!

Open for business…

Here we have it.  I’ve gone and done it.  I’ve made a website, created a facebook and now…
I’ve finally OPENED an Etsy shop.
For anyone interested in viewing this the shop name is MeowskiMade (suprising right?)  and that shop name is a clickable link.

I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing, but maybe I’ll learn something along the way.