Wednesday, July 11, 2012

So I've been a busy bee this past month or so trying to get ready for my first trade show and then to get my first big design finished to enter into the Stampede Visual Arts showcase.

PlanetJune's Ravelry group has a Crochet-A-Long or CAL every month where people make things according to the theme chosen that month.  In June it was a free-choice of all of PlanetJune's patterns, and it was extended to July 15 because we will be doing another CAL-type thing with the Ravelry Ravellenic Games (a just for fun competition that runs during the Olympics) from July 27 - Aug  12.

So, I made a ton of things during this month... my items will probably make up almost half of the CAL entries this time around.  I'll link or share PJ's blog post when it goes up later in the month.

Anyone who is on FB or Ravelry with me knows the trade show is all I've talked about for the whole month of June pretty much, so here's the final result...

I had 70 items total for sale, and I sold 5.  But, I consider it a success and it was a fun day, so I signed up for the August 4th show.  At least I'll have lots of stock ready!  I had a couple of requests for things I didn't have, so I'll be making a few more things and hopefully those people will swing by the table again.

After that was over I turned to my biggest challenge yet, to design my own project.  I settled on an octopus because it's kind of steampunk-y, which I like and I have ideas to add accessories to it during the Ravellenic Games for my VF Team (book club).

The deadline for the design was July 10, so I really only had a couple of days to make it.  I'd sketched and had plans in my head, but it's hard for me to visualize without actually doing it.  So I just started... and I frogged (ripped it out to the start)... and started again... frogged... started... frogged... started and finally found a shape I liked.  Then I moved on to the arms.

That took a few tries too... but once again I settled on a shape and went from there.

I made a few arms, and eye sockets and then started on the 'easy to design but really hard to execute' suction cups.

I pinned them on at first, but it was a little stabby.

So I started putting them on kind of free-form.  And when I realized how long it was taking me to make them and sew them on, I put them on a lot more sparsely.

At this point it was the night before the deadline and I was feeling the pinch (and the stiffness in my hands and wrists from overuse)... but once I put those eyes in and pinned it together there was no going back.

I wasn't able to put as many suction cups that I wanted to, but I think she turned out pretty good.

Octavia the Octopus is now in the hands of the Stampede people, being judged and readied for the showcase.  I saw so many gorgeous photos that others have entered into the show... there is some stiff competition in the photography section.  But there was only 11 entries (when I dropped mine off ) in my section of Fibre Arts, Original Design, so that's good for my chances to win something.  :)

But at the very least, I am very proud of myself for making this and that's all that matters.

If anyone is interested in designing crocheted toys, I'd recommend June Gilbank's The Complete Idiot's Guide To Amigurumi ... it has great advice.

So, on to getting ready for my next trade show (August 4, Grandstand Room, Stampede Grounds), doing a few items that people have requested, and waiting to see if I've won anything.  :)
Oh, and getting ready for the Ravellenic Games... I'm team co-captain for Team PlanetJune.  I have decided to learn a new (to me anyway) crochet technique called Tunisian Crochet... it should be interesting.  And I have a shawl to complete for Team VF.