Wedding Shawl Turned Shrug

I've been so swamped at work and with the wedding (which is 16 days away now!) that I have not had time to post pictures of the things I've been working on, or talk about the plans as they've been unfolding. A lot has gotten done and there's still more to complete. A lot more. The easiest way to show them off is to just give you a link to my flickr set that has the wedding-in-progress photos. Sometime before the wedding I'll take photos of everything that's been handmade by me (with Mark and Sara's help in many instances) to show everything together and how it all ties in with one another. The cupcake tier is finally completed for instance (it needed the paint to be touched up when I previously photographed it). We still have chocolates to make and cupcakes to bake, and gift bags and baskets to put together. The favors are completed, as well, so I'll take nice pics of those. So much to do!

I wanted to show you the shrug that I finished last night though, as I am in love with it. I wish Beth (our mannequin) had arms so that the shrug arms didn't just hang there all willy-nilly, but alas it will have to do for now.

I wanted originally to make a very small wrap. Like this, only more dainty, and not quite as long. Weather permitting, the ceremony will be outdoors at 5:30 pm in mid October in southern NH. I'm guessing it will be about 50 degrees at most. Quite chilly. Though I do think my dress is pretty and I want to show it off, I haven't lost my mind enough to want to sacrifice my body's warmth for vanity! The whole bride thing is strange to me. Why be uncomfortable so you can look nice? Not this girl. So, I made myself a small wrap. But the size wasn't right. It was too wide to button like a capelet and still look nice (it looked like a small poncho no matter how I wore it), but not wide enough to drape around me like shawl or wrap. I just wasn't happy with it. So, I decided to turn it into a small, dainty shrug. Once I seamed up the sleeves I went ahead and made the back longer so it's more reminiscent of a jacket. Shracket, if you will.

It's not blocked yet and the red did not photograph true to life. But aside from a semi-shoddy picture, I couldn't be more happy with it.

The yarn is Kauni. Not sure of the colorway as it's in German (I believe). Insane yardage in one skein, I think close to 700? I ended up using about 2/3 of the skein max. The remainder is going to become a small clutch that I also started last night. The buttons I had intended to use for the wrap will be used to close the clutch. They're ivory and match my dress.

I didn't use a pattern (surprise). I didn't want it to be too decorative so as to detract from the dress, but I also didn't want it to be one solid block of crochet. So, I alternated rows of hdc and tr. The yarn is a #2 weight I think and I ended up using a 4.5 mm hook which is larger than called for. 1. I have had so much to make for the wedding that I wanted it to not take forever, and 2. I didn't want it to be too dense and firm.

Had I more time, I would have lined it before sewing it. It's itchy as hell. I'm going to wash it in my mother's front loader on delicate and I'm also going to try some wool Soak. I figure I'll just have to deal though. I don't have an issue with wool per say and I don't avoid it, but wool around the clavicle is just a bit on the irritating side. Hopefully it will soften up a bit with washing. Otherwise, I guess I will end up sacrificing comfort for vanity.

Looking at the photos now it really does need to be blocked. I'm really happy with how it looks on me though. It fits nicely. I just hope that it looks good paired with a wedding dress. Otherwise....oh well. Ce la vie, because I'm wearing it!
I'm trying the shrug with the dress this Saturday. The dress is at my parents house since my closet space is sadly lacking, and I need to go over there to try on the dress with the spaghetti straps my mother added to it. I'll have her take a photo of the whole get-up. I bought a full slip so it gives it a little bit more volume and body. Not that I wanted or needed it per say, but it did poof it out enough that the length came up about an inch, and that prevented me from having to have it hemmed.
All in all, things are coming along nicely. I'll have more pics as we get closer to the big day. There's still so much more to photograph and show you.

The Meaning of April

I found this to be pretty accurate. Surprisingly so, in fact. The beginning part, about being a Type A personality....completely true. Towards the ending where it says I'm chill and relaxed....not so much.

What April Means

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are influential and persuasive. You tend to have a lot of power over people.
Generally, you use your powers for good. You excel at solving other people's problems.
Occasionally, you do get a little selfish and persuade people to do things that are only in your interest.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

Also, last week I "won" this award from Deneen.

I would love to nominate everyone's blog that I read for this award. I know that is kind of a cop out, but what can I say? There are so many blogs that I have been reading over the last year or so that have taught me so much, and provided me with so much laughter and joy. Deneen, Andy, Bron, Lizze, Susan, Zu, Darcie, Etc. etc. etc. How could I choose just a few? I love reading them all.

I'm So Busy Part 3

And finally....the wedding. We're about 5 or 6 weeks out now. And with our small budget, we're doing everything ourselves. I'm baking the cake, which will actually be cupcakes. I'll do half chocolate, half vanilla. The icing on top of each will be one of three colors: red, yellow or orange. Deep fall colors. I'm going to make some chocolates using basic molds. They'll likely be fall leaves. Those will sit atop the frosting on the cupcakes.

I've finished my favors but no photo yet. Sorry. I have almost finished my shawl. I need to make my purse. The centerpieces will be done in a month or so, as a gift from a friend. The placecards are ready to be made, as soon as everyone RSVPs (50% of the guests still have not, even though the RSVP date has come and gone). The dress and suit are all set. We're buying our rings next weekend. Next week we get our license. Sheesh. There's a lot of crap to do in order to get married!

I do have some step by step pics of the cupcake tree. It started off as plain white cardboard discs. I painted them black. The following week we glued leaves around the edges and flowers on the risers. I still need to touch up a few spots with some paint, but otherwise it's done.

In the final photo you will see the card holder. I decided to use an antique looking bird cage. I thought it was a lot nicer and more stylish than anything else I had seen. And....$11. What a bargain. I'm going to hang it after the wedding with pillar candles in it, in our living room. Pretty stylish I think.

Oh crap. I need to make the bouquet too. Well, tack that onto the list. The flowers on the cupcake tree match the favors exactly. These flowers (gerbera daisies) match my bouquet. They also can be found on the gift bags I'm putting in each hotel room. Which reminds me....I need to decide what is going in those bags....

It doesn't seem like it's a ton of work per say, but there are just many, many details to consider. I'm pretty OCD, and I want this whole thing to be ridiculously stylish yet casual and fun. I think I'm doing a pretty good job so far.

I'll have more pics as we move closer to the date.

I'm So Busy Part 2

The adventures in stash diving continue.

Last year, Sara and I participated in Derryfest. It's a little day long festival put on by our quaint hometown. We ended up selling some of our crocheted items. It's not a huge seller though. Not like a craft fair or anything where people go to actually make purhcases. Here, people just sort of hang out. And some do make purchases, but as a whole it's not a vendor fair. Well, we decided to do it again this year. And we decided we would do other craft fairs, since our Etsy store is so successful. (Yes, I'm insane with 2 Etsy stores and a 50 hour a week job, and craft fairs coming up. Oh, and that whole wedding thing!)

Well, my father built us some craft fair displays. We have table top displays that are multi-leveled. We have a 3 part folding "screen" made of pegboard that we can hang billions of items from. We have Beth, our bodyform. We have Beth's head, shown below. We have hat stands. Etc. etc. etc. We should look pretty damn professional this year. Can't wait to show photos of how it all comes together. Don't have any yet, but I will over the next few weeks.

We have spent months trying to both use up our acrylic stash, and create a huge winter inventory for the upcoming fairs. Derryfest is on the 20th, so we're getting close. Most people, we've learned, at craft fairs don't want to spend big bucks, so we've found the most success with cheaper yarns that equal cheaper end products. So, the less expensive we can go, the better. Etsy is another story. We don't have a hard time selling more expensive items online. Craft fairs are tough though for that sort of thing.

Somehow though, with all the craziness of the upcoming fairs, we have been inundated with custom orders for hats. Slouchy hats, newsboys, cloches. It's insane. I think we've had 5 in about 10 days, and we have 2 or 3 more custom hats people have inquired about on Etsy, that we're waiting to hear back from. It's crazy. Unfortunately I don't have all of them done yet, and I don't have photos of them all yet. But here's a quick glimpse of my most recent stash diving efforts.

Sara has a pretty large inventory of Earflap hats as well, but not all of them have been listed on Etsy yet.

I won't bother to horrify you with my crochet goals before our huge holiday fair mid-November. But right now, in the next 17 days before Derryfest my goals are as follows:
2-3 scarves
5 little boy hats (3-10 year old sizes)
5 little girl hats
5 mens hats
2-3 pairs of baby booties at least
Tons of face scrubbies
Will I get much sleep? Not really. Will I somehow masochistically love it? Yep. Indeed I will.

I'm So Busy Part 1

For the Love of Marley is completely up and running. I think I've added 75 or so new items for sale. I haven't had my first official sale yet, but when I think about MABS Crochet in the beginning, we didn't have many sales for the first month or two. I think people are hesitant to purchase from sellers without a lot of feedback on Etsy. So, I'm patiently waiting. In the meantime, here are a few of the items I'm selling:

Sets of gift tags. This is a set of 10 for $3.00. Great everyday gift tags. I have several types at the moment, and will be adding many, many more soon, including Holiday tags. The Holiday season is quickly approaching, afterall.

I have a handful of basic blank greeting cards with a variety of sentiments. More to be added soon.

These floral collages are so fun to make, and I think they make wonderful little gifts. I have several of them that I've made over the years throughout my home, and throughout my family's homes.

Finally, there are several wedding cards. These would be great, I think, as basic wedding greeting cards, or cards for bridal showers. They're blank inside. If you recall, these are actual leftovers from my own wedding invitations.

Do take a peek! There's a lot for everyone. And coming soon, I will have thank you cards and tags specifically for Etsy sellers, and for cheap, too. I tend to revisit the sellers who impress me with their packaging, and what better way to do that than by adding a personal touch like a small card or thank you tag?

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