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.

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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

Introducing: 2014 Crochet Holiday Postcards

holiday postcards - hijennybrown.com

Woo-hoo!  It’s that time of year again – the day I remember (and am constantly reminded) that I’m not getting any younger.  At least they soften the blow with cake. (Little Liam has been talking about “buttercream” all morning – who knew he was a frosting connoisseur?)

Won’t you help me take my mind off sinking deep into my late-30s by talking about something else?  Something I like just a wee bit more?

Ah, yes: Crochet!

holiday postcards - hijennybrown.comEverything’s better with yarn – right? The top-left design is new for this year – I kept dreaming of something woodsy and cozy, and this is what came off the hook:

Hi, Jenny Brown -Merry Christmas Post CardThe original crochet piece was photographed by Erin, my awesome partner in crime.  Doesn’t it make you want to sip hot chocolate by a cozy fire?

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I also brought back the “peace on earth” and “have yourself a merry little christmas” themes that sold out last year because they are just too cute to ignore. They’re a little larger (4 x 6) and thicker (130-lb glossy cardstock, baby) this year.

Oops – almost forgot about the back.  It has a traditional postcard layout with a crochet twist:

Hi, Jenny Brown - Crochet Postcards backIf you’re as excited about these as I am, head over to Etsy and use the coupon code “officially” for 10% off.  (And if you were wondering, yep – I’ll be giving $1 from each pack to Action Against Hunger).

OK, now off to get some of that cake.

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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.”

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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

Happy Birthday to Me!

crochet postcards - hijennybrown.com

Hello, all:

I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday and eating the absolute most pie your body can withstand.  Seriously, when are you going to get another opportunity to have more than one slice of pie?  Carpe Pumpkin!

Craft Husband and I are having a low-key day eating starches, candy, and candied starches.  Good times.  This year Thanksgiving just happens to fall on my birthday, which is exciting for me because I always want to feast on my birthday.  Plus, since my friends were going out of town for the holiday, they threw me a pre-birthday party.  Ice cream cake, you are the world’s great gift.

When not stuffing my face, I have been reflecting on what a great  year it’s been and how thankful I am for all of you.  I love reading about your lives, and I am honored that you read about mine!  I want to sincerely say “thank you” to each of you.  You’re awesome!

Also, I have two surprises today:

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Surprise 1: My shop now has stationery!  These crochet photo postcards are just the thing to send to your fellow hookers or those who are not yet converted.  They have been a labor of love, and I hope you love them!

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Surprise 2: Use the coupon code “crochetholiday” to save 20% off EVERYTHING in my Etsy store (including stationery and patterns) from now until midnight EST Monday.

Thanks again and have a great day!

Bye,
(an older) Jenny Brown