My cheesy yarnbomb

cheesy yarnbomb

There are yarnbombers who make pretty pieces, those who make political pieces, and those that make just plain crazy pieces… but me – I like mine cheesy.

cheesy yarnbomb - Hi, Jenny Brown

The idea for this cheesy yarnbomb started with a ball of light orange yarn that wasn’t quite right for my project.  For some reason it reminded me of cheese, and I whipped two squares up right away.

I made the granny square background with leftover fringe from my big crochet fail (which meant I had an end to weave every couple inches).  Then I used my number and letter patterns to create the word “Craft” and the “100% real cheesy” signs.  Last I crocheted over wire to make the “couples” cursive (that’s a technique that still needs some work, eh?).

cheesy yarnbomb - Hi, Jenny Brown

My favorite project consultant suggested adding eyes to the cheeses, which I think makes them look so sweet in love.  Originally I planned to melt pieces of plastic together to make custom wrappers, but then Erin reminded me that sandwich bags existed, and luckily, the cheese was a perfect fit. I was fretting about how to sew them to the background, but I tried Super Fabric Glue“, and it held perfectly.

cheesy yarnbomb - Hi, Jenny Brown

By this point I had fallen in love with this cheesy yarnbomb – and I was trying to think of any excuse to keep it forever.  But I knew that wasn’t right.  My knitting group friend KG suggested a local park, so Craft Husband and I checked it out.

cheesy yarnbomb - Hi, Jenny Brown

The park looked beautiful with autumn leaves falling slowly from the branches and crunching underfoot.  We followed the pedestrian bridge across the highway and back before I decided on this landing for the piece.  I love the idea of someone seeing it from the bottom of the ramp and running up to see what it is.

Bye,
Jenny Brown

PS – If you’re hungry for more punny yarnbombs, let me know in the comments below.

Celebrating 1,000 Crochet Patterns Sold

It’s official – Hi, Jenny Brown has sold 1,000 Crochet Patterns on Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy.  Thank you so much to all the customers, supporters, and helpers who made this milestone possible! So how does one celebrate 1,000 patterns sold? 1. Throw snowballs at an unsuspecting Craft Husband… Luckily, the day after the 1,000th pattern was sold, the sun shone on our snow-covered NJ backyard and the thermometer rose slightly above the usual 32 degrees.  We ran outside to enjoy the balmy weather and found a mild-mannered target for our pent-up blizzard rage….sorry, Craft Husband!

Celebrating 1,000 patterns sold with snowballs - HiJennyBrownYou might think we’re evil, but check out the peanut gallery enjoying the naughtiness without getting their hands wet! You can watch us torture CH further here.

2. Make something good even better… In anticipation of this awesome milestone, I’ve been working day and night (sorry for the 3 a.m. tweets!) updating the Uppercase Alphabet, Lowercase Alphabet, Numbers & Punctuation, and Crochet Bannerama patterns.  Every pattern now includes new instructions on sewing motif pieces to any crochet project and a sizing guide, with plenty of measurements and estimates, that helps you pick the best yarn, gauge, and hook for your next project. Hi #5 - hijennybrown.com

for example: boucle bulky weight (#5) yarn   

3. Get Creative with the Coupon Codes I’m excited about the new changes and will be offering the updated patterns at 20% off until midnight Sunday, March 15.  So if you’re ready to pick-up the new and improved pattern, just use the coupon code “woohoo20” on Etsy or Ravelry. 4. Give everyone a present… While I was working on the pattern update, I also created a free sample of the Uppercase Alphabet pattern that let’s you preview the new layout and get hooked on crocheting letters (does that make me sound like a dealer?). Free HI Pattern - hijennybrown If you want to get a taste (I can’t stop), just join the Hi, Jenny Brown Email Awesomeness List.  You’ll get a weekly update from me plus a link to the free Crochet “HI” Pattern.  And I’ll give a free Bannerama pattern (a superpack of every pattern I’ve designed) to anyone who recreates that cover collage with their newly crocheted “HI.”  Gold nailpolish not required.  5. Say Thanks (over and over) Thanks again, y’all!  When I started selling patterns, I never expected to sell 1, and here we are 1,000 patterns later.  I know it’s cool to act like it’s no big deal when people buy what you make…but it is a big deal to me.  I love you guys!

Bye, Jenny Brown

All photos by Erin Markan of Folks Collected.  Thanks, Erin!

Crochet Heart Garland

candy and sweet crochet heart garland - hijennybrown.com

candy and sweet crochet heart garland - hijennybrown.comI’m a big fan of Twinkie Chan’s blog and patterns.  If the name doesn’t ring a bell, I’m sure you’ve seen her food-inspired crochet items featured in numerous magazines, books, and websites. She recently released a video tutorial for a conversation heart crochet garland, and I knew I had to make one.

make a personalized crochet heart garland - hijennybrown.comWhile she used cut-out felt to add a message to her crochet hearts, I thought I’d step it up a notch and use crocheted letters.  You can find Twinkie’s video tutorial here, and written pattern here.

Make a Heart Garland with Lion Brand BonBons - hijennybrown.comShe used worsted weight yarn, but I thought this project was a great opportunity to use up my stockpile of Lion Brand Bonbons for a smaller crochet heart garland.  I made a few hearts from the glitter set, but the bright, solid color acrylic yarn is a little thicker and better mimics the colors of conversation hearts. I used a “D” hook to crochet the hearts.

personalize a crochet heart garland - hijennybrown.com

You can add the letters before or after adding the string for hanging (I used a “D” hook and thin, “soft” worsted yarn for the string.  You have to crochet pretty tight, but the resulting string is strong and looks great with the small hearts).

Sweet personalized crochet heart garland - hijennybrown.com

Lowercase letters fit best on these tiny hearts. I used crochet thread and a 1.65 mm (7) hook to make the letters.  Because I was using thin, vintage thread (gotta work that stash), I double-stranded, but I also tried it with #10 crochet thread and it fit perfectly.

Add crochet characters to other pieces - HiJennyBrown.comPin your letters into place and then using a yarn needle and the running stitch, fasten character to heart. Then just weave in the ends. For this worsted weight heart, you can use anything from crochet thread to a sport weight or DK weight yarn (here, I used leftover Bonbons yarn on a cotton-acrylic worsted weight heart).  If you’re worried about the back, you can always crochet a second heart and join together, wrong sides facing.

sweet heart crochet garland - hijennybrown.com

And there you go – a very sweet Valentine’s Day decoration!

Bye,
Jenny Brown

PS – OK, one more sweetheart for you:

 

Sweet Heart - photo by Erin Markan on hijennybrown.com
Photos by Erin Markan – Thanks, Erin!

2014: A Little Too Good

Professional Building Hearts-HiJennyBrown

2015, I don’t want to give you a complex or anything, but you’re going to have a lot to live up to cause 2014 kinda killed it.  I mean, seriously:

I casually talked to some famous people

Judge John Hodgman Show - via maximumfun.org Jenny - Creative Live with Michelle Ward

No bigs, just John Hodgman & Jesse Thorn on the Judge John Hodgman Podcast and Michelle Ward during her Creative Live class in San Francisco (I also met Creative Live fan-girl favorite JKO, FYI).

Hi, Jenny Brown won an award for crochet photography (thanks to our amazing photographer Erin Markan) from Crochet Concupiscence. Thanks, Kathryn!

awesome blog award - crochet concupiscence

Our crew moved to New Jersey and have yet to get a spray tan (or meet a person with one, btw) and enjoyed being just a train ride away from NYC.

Etsy Craft Party - Hi, Jenny Brown

I released a New Pattern: Crochet Bannerama

Crochet Bannerama by Hi, Jenny Brown- 3 Pattern Multipack for crochet garland, banner, and bunting that you can personalize

and two free crochet project that use my letter, number, & punctuation patterns:

Teacher Gift Crochet Cup Cuff Project PatternLast Day First Day Back to School Crochet Reversible Photo Prop

One of my yarn bombs survived in the wild for 3 months (confirmed by Richelle of the Red Scorpio in November and by Jenna of Promo Analyzer in mid-December) and counting

hello yarnbomb front hi jenny brownrepost of redscorpios photo on hijennybrown.com

Hello Yarn Bomb - picture by Jenna of promoanalyzer.com

and I made a couple other cool yarnbombs (with help from Erin & Craft Husband).

Stop Collaborate & Listen yarnbombyarn bomb - barber pole crochet yarnbomb

and a giant heart with the folks of Ohio Valley Handmade

Professional Building Hearts-HiJennyBrown
All We Need Is Love - Yarnbomb

I kinda killed it with school crafts

lego necklace - hijennybrown.com 10-30-2014, Trunk or Treat, Minecraft Car - hijennybrown.com

 

I gave some pretty good advice

You Know What You Should Make - Hi, Jenny Brown

 

10 tips to help kids love crochet - Hi, Jenny BrownI had so much fun with Hooking for Good: donating 9 items to organizations throughout the country, donating $1 from every sale to Action Against Hunger, and giving away amazing items by Kari Chapin, Ann Espo of OpportuKnits, artist and podcaster Heather Saulsbury, and Adri of Moon Star Adri to you awesome folks.

Hooking for Good Crochet and Knit Donations - hijennybrown.com

And I LOVED seeing your FOs made with my motif patterns and project ideas!

A photo posted by Jacqui J (@yarnosaurusrex) on

 

Plus, I was humble all year long.

I also met so many amazing makers, artists, crocheters,  coaches, and enthusiasts this year, and I want to thank you all for your kindness and support.  Please forgive me for not mentioning you individually because inevitably I will leave out the most sensitive person, and I don’t want anyone to feel bad on the New Year’s!

See you next year,
Jenny Brown

Hooking for Good: Make Your Presents Known

Crochet Ornaments

It’s the time of year when all crafters start to really stress: Oh my goodness, I forgot about so-and-so, and I will totally need to make them a present because they’ll be making one for me.  Oy vey, I forgot about that nephew, who I promised a crocheted blanket back in July.  Holy guacamole, how am I ever going to finish 12 pairs of fingerless gloves for the cousins on top of everything else?

My secret is to just buy things from Etsy: same great homemade feel, none of the work.  Or, I give most people nothing.  I know, it’s terrible – but I have a huge extended family, and I’d rather rotate my focus to a few people annually, so I can make them something special, rather than make one throw-away gift per person.  This year I’m so focused on making things for strangers that I’m pretty sure I won’t be making any presents for my family and friends.  Think I can get away with saying “My presence is your present?”

No matter what your gift-giving strategy is this year, here are a few projects from the HiJB archives that would make fun and quick presents.

hello banner from crochet bannerama - Hi Jenny Brown, Banner Beach Photos251

Quick Crochet Cowl – I wore the one from this tutorial during our Crochet Bannerama photoshoot.  So cozy!

lego necklace - hijennybrown.com

Lego Necklace – we made these for Liam’s birthday party, but they’d be great holiday gifts for a crowd.

Crochet Ornament - hijennybrown.com

Crochet Personalized Ornaments – Who doesn’t love a personalized gift?  Some glue, a little crochet thread, a cheap store-bought frame, and you’re all done.

And if you need a gift for your favorite crafters – why not send them some crochet-inspired postcards?

holiday postcards - hijennybrown.com

Or this unique banner pattern?

Crochet Bannerama - Hi, Jenny Brown

Or visit the shops who donated for our giveaways this season!  Thanks to Creatively Happy One, Moon Star Adri, and Opportuknits, Kari Chapin!

winner - hijennybrown.com

Today’s winner gets a present today, too!  Melissa W. was our randomly selected winner and will receive a pair of adult and a pair of child armwarmers.  Ann Espo donated this amazing prize – thanks Ann!  Her goal is to grow her business so she can begin to hire women transitioning back to their families and communities after incarceration.  If you’d like to support her or see more of her wonderful designs, visit opportuknits.etsy.com.

See you Friday where I admit I’m cheating on my crochet with….KNITTING!

Bye,
Jenny Brown

Project Idea: Teacher Gift – Crochet Cup Cuff

When I look back on all the hilarious, fun times I had in elementary, middle, and high school, one awesome person comes to mind – my best friend & buddyboy (sorry for the inside joke), Ms. Myers.  She taught me all the important things in life – how great a perm can look, how delicious takeout tacos can be, and how long you can listen to Electric Youth before you get tired of it (Answer: infinity).  She also provided a herd of My Little Pony’s that were fun to play with and/or crochet on (tiny yarn berets, anyone?) Ms. Myers, is now an amazing teacher and overall cool adult.  When I started thinking about this crochet cup cuff, which uses my Lowercase/Uppercase Motif Set (psst: on sale until midnight, Aug. 23 for only $3), I knew she would be the worthy, crochet-loving recipient.  If you don’t have a teacher best friend, please feel free to use this as bribery for your kid’s new teacher – you can fill the cup with markers, candy, or dollar bills (depending on the volume of your child’s “indoor voice”).  If the teacher you’re making this for doesn’t have a short last name,  you still have options.  What about “#1” (you’ll need the Numbers & Punctuation set for this one), or “Super”, “Great”, or initials?  Maybe a grade like “A+”? (and then make a new one that says “D-” at Winter Break? Maybe not.) Now, let’s get to work.

Teacher Gift Crochet Cup Cuff Project Pattern

TEACHER GIFT – CROCHET CUP CUFF

Abbreviations: ch: chain sc: single crochet Supplies:

  • 50 yards White Worsted Weight Yarn (100% cotton yarn shown here but not required – yarn and thread quantities are estimated and will depend on your tension and material)
  • Crochet Thread in:
    • Gray: yardage will depend on word used
    • Blue: 2 yds
    • Red: 1 yd
  • Crochet Hooks – G/4.0mm (when using yarn) and 7/1.65mm (when using thread)
  • Yarn Needle
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins or Safety Pins
  • 2 white Elastic Hair Ties (the smallest ones work best)
  • 2 Buttons (I used star buttons) and Matching Thread.
  • Plastic Straw Cup (this one is about 11.5 inches around at its widest.  If your cup is larger or smaller, you can add or subtract from your foundation chain and each subsequent row to achieve the perfect fit).

Crochet Background With white yarn, ch 43 Row 1:  Sc in second ch from hook, sc in each ch, ch 1, turn Row 2:  41 sc, sc over hair tie, ch 1, turn (now is a great time to wrap your piece around your cup and see if it fits) IMG_20140819_171659 Hair tie pictures shown with smaller sample & bright colored hair tie for contrast.  IMG_20140819_171705 Row 3:  sc in each sc, ch 1, turn Row 4:  41 sc, sc over hair tie, ch 1, turn IMG_20140819_171705IMG_20140819_171717 IMG_20140819_171744 Row 5 – 13:   sc in each sc, ch 1, turn Row 14:  41 sc, sc over hair tie, ch 1, turn Row 15:  sc in each sc, ch 1, turn Row 16:  41 sc, sc over hair tie, ch 1, rotate Sc around piece, working in side of rows, foundation row, other side of rows, and last row.  Place 3 sc in each corner. Weave in ends. Add Lines

  1. Add line between rows 4 & 5 (not counting border row worked into foundation chain) using blue crochet thread and backstitch.  (To start: pull needle up through first space, insert needle into second space, pull needle up through third space, insert needle back into second space.  Continue by pulling yarn up through next empty space and inserting needle back into the previous space to create a “solid” line.)
  2. Repeat step 1 between rows 12 & 13 (not counting border row worked into foundation chain).
  3. Add line between rows 10 & 11 (not counting border row worked into foundation chain) using running stitch and red crochet thread. (To start: pull yarn up through first space, insert needle into second space. Continue by pulling yarn up through next empty space and inserting needle into the following empty space to create a “dashed” line)
  4. Weave in ends.

Crochet Letters

  1. Using the Uppercase/Lowercase Crochet Motif Pattern and gray crochet thread, crochet your word/name/grade.  Weave in ends.
  2. Pin letters to background (I use straight pins, but if you’re prone to pricking yourself, you can use safety pins.)
  3. Sew letters to background using grey crochet thread and backstitch.
  4. Weave in ends.

Putting It All Together Sew buttons on opposite side of hair ties using matching thread. Weave in ends. Teacher Gift Crochet Cup Cuff Buttons Place cuff around cup- hair ties may need to be folded over or knotted depending on how much space is between the two sides. IMG_20140819_171828 If you would like, you can add a backing to hide your stitches, but I think the back looks kind of cute (minus the few ends that became loose during the photo shoot). 8-20-2014, Hi, Jenny Brown, Ms. Myers Koozie135 These cuffs are totally irresistible – and if you don’t believe me… Teacher Gift - Hi Jenny Brown Crochet Cup Cuff kids running back and forth to cup Bye, Jenny Brown Project pictures by Erin Markan of Folks Collected.  Thanks, E!

Yo, VIP – Let’s Hook It

Stop Collaborate & Listen yarnbomb

I am always amazed at the beautiful hats, blankets, and banners y’all make with my patterns.  It is some seriously cute stuff, and I am so wowed by each of you!

But say you’re addicted to putting your crochet outside…  Will they work for that too?

IMG_3936

YEP!

Oh, and by the way: If you weren’t a child of the 90s, or you just want to relive the magic – enjoy! Thanks to youtube user emimusic for this flashback.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rog8ou-ZepE?rel=0]

Bye,
Jenny Brown

Wool you be mine?

Wool you be mine crochet - hijennybrown.com

Oh my goodness, friendos: where has this month gone?  I mean, I know I’ve spent a lot of time holed up with nothing but a crochet hook and a bag of Willy Wonka Heartbreakers, but I didn’t realize so much time had passed.

Maybe, like me, you’ve been in a bit of a vortex.  Maybe you forgot Valentine’s day is coming…and maybe you’re afraid you’ll have to be some super sappy, overly sentimental cards at the drug store on the way to your knit/crochet meet-up.

But fear not!  Have I got the valentines for you:

1-21-2014 Hi JB Valentine Etsy Pictures-9284

Whaddaya think?  Craft Husband and I were feeling a little punny, and we thought these craft-inspired phrases would be perfect for some valentines for grownups that had the flavor of the small, cardboard Valentines of our youth.  All the letters were crocheted using my upper and lowercase patterns, then sewn to this pladish (new word) black & white fleece and accented with some cute crochet hearts.

1-19-2014-Hi-JB-Valentine-Re-edit-9110

1-19-2014-Hi-JB-Valentine-Re-edit-9111

I was planning to use grey corduroy for the background, but Erin (who did all the photography – thanks!) forced me to dig in my stash for this jem.  I think she was totally right, but so much for the pillows I was planning… oh well.  Who needs pillows when you can have Valentines!

1-21-2014 Hi JB Valentine Etsy Pictures-9257

1-21-2014 Hi JB Valentine Etsy Pictures-9267

We also made cute little seals after we scanned a crochet heart placed on a fabric swatch.  Have you ever tried scanning anything you’ve crocheted?  I was sort of amazed at how great it turned out.

1-21-2014 Hi JB Valentine Etsy Pictures-9288

Craft Husband made all the envelopes using a folding board he bought on sale at the local crafts store.  They’re a thin, light grey paper that just screams “shove me into a heart-covered shoebox with a tiny slit cut in the top.”

1-21-2014 Hi JB Valentine Etsy Pictures-9310

So, if you’re hoping to hand out some precious valentines this year, head over to Etsy(Go now, and you can use the coupon code “heartshapedbox” to save 10%.  But hurry – it expires Sunday at midnight!)

Bye,
Jenny Brown

Happy New Year!

year in review 2013 - hijennybrown.com

yearinreviewHello, all:

Looking back over photos from this year, I realize I was part of some pretty wonderful things: leading a group of knitters, crocheters, sewist, and embroiders who covered a downtown building with over 100 hearts of all kinds and helped sell the building; participating in the largest yarn bombing in the US; releasing a new pattern and celebrating over 500 patterns sold; and selling out of my first postcard run.

I think the best thing about this year, though, was the company I kept (and that means you).  I am so lucky to have Craft Husband, Erin (who took all the in-focus pictures above), and all my little helpers.  That’s not even mentioning the great folks who comment on this blog, kindly buy my patterns, and keep  me company while I continuously wrap yarn around that hook. Oh, and I spent a lot of time having fun and goofing off this year.  I need to do more of that.

I’m so inspired for the new year…but tomorrow is for resolving.  Today is for reveling, and I have a lot to revel in.

Thanks and Happy New Year!
Jenny Brown