Thursday, December 29, 2011

CONTEST!!

I have had SO MUCH FUN giving away Christmas gift patterns and I would LOVE to see all the lovely work everyone will make from them!  So what better way to encourage your creativity than to have a photo contest!  



GRAND PRIZE


3 FINALISTS WIN
1 free pattern of choice from MAMACHEE PATTERNS!!

The pattern for the ribbed sock by Optimistic by Nature 
4 skeins of quality wool yarn to make your own ribbed socks

1 GRAND PRIZE
Finalist Prize +

One pair of adult sized ribbed socks crocheted by me!



(If the winners already have the sock pattern then they can pick a different one.  I will ship the prizes for free anywhere in the world.)  

How to enter:
Easy!  Work up your pattern (any of my patterns - I currently have 4 - see them here - # 5 coming soon!) and take awesome pictures of the finished product.  Send your pictures to my email address (katie.hanken@gmail.com)  Photos shared on my facebook page are great but only pictures sent to my email address will be entered in the contest.  Send in as many pictures as you want!  

How the winners will be chosen:  
I will consider your crochet work, composition, picture quality.... but most of all I will pick the pictures that make me happiest :-)  Little smiling faces get extra points ;-)  

I will pick out 3 finalists and here's the fun part - YOU get to pick the winner!  I will post the finalists on my facebook page and the one that gets the most votes wins!  

Deadline
I will pick out the finalists on February 1st 2012.  So you have a little over a month to crochet! 
Voting on facebook will start on February 2nd and end February 5th.  

Me making the grand prize socks over Christmas :-)

Fine print:
By sending in pictures to this contest you are giving me permission to use them in the marketing of my patterns as I wish, free of charge.  I will gladly give you photo credit if I post the picture.  If you are a professional photography business or crochet business I will be happy to do a blog post about your business.  This contest is available for everyone to participate in - whether you have purchased my patterns or recieved them as a gift regardless of whether or not you follow my blog or facebook page!  If there are less than 20 entries I may choose to cancel or lengthen the time period of the contest.

PS: This is a great way to show your skills - I would love to promote the work of "working crocheters"!  If you sell your work on Etsy or anywhere else I will promote you where I can.  :-)  Also - you can sell everything you make.  Just give me a mention as the pattern designer!  I love working together with you guys! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sparkler Giveaway

Want to win the new sparkler pattern?  Just leave a comment on the end of the photo contest blog post or on my facebook page (on the last of my status updates) and I will pick out a winner tomorrow (Thursday 29th December).  Good luck! :-)


Sparkler Wand!


Get ready for the New Year's celebration with the Sparkler wand!  

I was inspired by the Christmas garland and wanted to make something fun :-)  This pattern is super easy and fun to make.  You can use any yarn you have laying around.  I made a couple different sizes.


This is so fast to work up.  A worsted weight yarn works great.  I used pipe cleaners to "stuff" it - so it is stiff and flexible.  :-)  This is a fun project to work up for the photo contest!  I am looking forward to seeing my little guy playing with this on New Year's as an "inside the house - toddler safe - sparkler"!!  

You can download this pattern instantly from the link on my pattern page.  It is in my ravelry store.  (will get it in etsy soon, too)  The pattern costs $2.50.




Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays from Optimistic by Nature!

Oliver Christmas morning 2010
I am in the Christmas spirit! I appreciate each and every one of my facebook and blog followers and want to thank you all for following my page and my crochet adventures! My Christmas gift to you is one free pattern of your choice. Just send me an email at katie.hanken@gmail.com and let me know which one you want. Feel free to spread the word. This is for all old and new facebook page-likers and blog followers from today until Christmas! Happy holidays!



Friday, December 16, 2011

Another really cute ornament pattern!


Ok, isn't this awesome?!  This ornament is a design by Cheryl Cambras and she is giving the pattern away for free to anyone who signs up for her newsletter (by sending her an email or by joining her facebook page).  I follow her page and think she is doing some really cool things.  Just check out this window display at the Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica!


Wow!  

She has lots of cute wintery things like this reindeer.


And I can't help but post this next picture from her facebook page because it rocks.  :)


If you want to sign up for her mailing list write her at cherylcambras@yahoo.com 

More from Cheryl at 




Thursday, December 15, 2011

Really cute ornament pattern!

I came over this cute ornament pattern on ravelry and had to share!



Stephanie makes really cute patterns and shares them for free!  How nice!  Check her out:


And if you want to make these adorable ornaments here is the  pattern and step by step photos!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter inspiration

Winter has come to northern Norway.  There is snow on the ground and I am finding inspiration in all things arctic.  Like this amazing rocker from Maclaren.  

I told Oliver it was too late to be adding things to his Christmas list.... Ok, it is on my Christmas list.  I can't figure out where to buy one in Europe.  If anyone knows shout out.  I want one!  It is called Maclaren Netto Roker Polar Bear.  I think it would look nice next to our piano.


Øystein brought this picture home today.  He had it printed on canvas.  It is the last photograph taken of Litløy Lighthouse before they took the light out and put up a LED one instead.  This island can be seen from our house but you have to take a boat out to it - really amazing scenery.

Speaking of lights here is our advent star.  My favorite picture from 2010.  Oliver's first Christmas.  :)


Wishing you all a wonderful winter!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pattern Giveaway

Tara over at EASY is doing a pattern giveaway for me!  Check out my interview at:

http://easymakesmehappy.blogspot.com



The giveaway is for 1 free pattern of choice (for example Oliver's winter hat) to 5 people and it ends tomorrow.  If you haven't signed up already you still have today!  I am looking forward to finding out who wins!  Good luck!

Thanks, Tara!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Introducing the ribbed sock!


Here is my latest pattern!  In time to whip up a few more Christmas presents!

The ribbed sock.  I have been wanting this pattern for awhile because I love handknit socks.  I wanted an easy and good crochet pattern and I think I have solved it!  It took several trys and there are quite a few lonesome ugly sock attempts around my place but I worked it out in the end. :)

We had a very successful photoshoot with Oliver in the toddler sock.  He is darn cute in them.
Check him out!


This pattern includes instructions for 7 sizes!!  
Baby, toddler, child, teen, adult small, medium and large.
It is also easy to adjust and use other yarn weights.  
I will post pictures of the other sizes soon.  I just couldn't wait to get this out there!  


My cutie pie.












Sunday, December 4, 2011

A new baby bonnet balaclava


My newest bonnet balaclava.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  It turned out really cute :)  I made it for some really good friends who are expecting a baby in a few weeks.  I will be making more of these in this color combination and with those unbelievably cute buttons that my friend sells at the local cafe here.  

It you want to make a cute bonnet balaclava you can buy the pattern here:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Button on the Bonnet Balaclava!

Say that 3 times fast!  :) I found a cool red button in my little collection of buttons.



And thought it would look cute on my bonnet balaclava pattern with pink yarn and a red pom pom.
I think it turned out cute!



I changed the pattern a tiny bit to incorporate a button - it worked!  So the pattern can use a scarf tie, velcro, balaclava or a button!  :)  


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Pattern!

Here's number 3!  I think I am done designing balaclavas in the - back loop, half double crochet - way for awhile :)  But it has been really fun making these patterns - and I really am proud of all of them.  They all work great for the chilly northern Norwegian climate.  :)



Here is my sweet little model Julie - my niece who lives in Tromsø.  Who is, by the way, the sweetest baby ever.  She is only happy.  Her parents are so lucky.



And Oliver in the same hat.  Julie is 10 months and Oliver is 20 months old.  The hat fits them both great.  (Oliver is, of course, also sweet... just slightly more mischievous)  :)





So here is the cool thing about the hat:  it is super easy and you can make it in three ways.  A scarf neck, a balaclava or velcro ends!



Cozy and warm!  I am still using Drops Nepal yarn - it is really soft and warm.  The pattern is for sale here:

Here you go :)

It is written in one size that fits a 1-2 year old.  It would probably fit any baby or toddler. But the cool thing about this design is that it is super easy to adjust for other sizes.  I explain it in the pattern.  You'll have it memorized after making one.

Happy crocheting!  From me, Julie and Oliver :)



Bonus pictures of Julie.  Here with mom Karen.  I crocheted this sweater for her baptism gift.  :)
And with Auntie Katie :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pixie Balaclava design

I made another balaclava pattern.  I'm on a roll!  Here it is:


This one is a lot easier to crochet than the first one and it is a bit different with it's little point and different collar.  The diagonal line was a little tricky to figure out.  I expiremented with a bunch of different turns from granny squares and landed on this one because of it's ease.  Mostly because I strive to make patterns that are easy.  I like a pattern that you can work out while watching tv or having a conversation.  I find it annoys people around me when I keep saying, "shhh, I'm counting!".


Here is the link to the pattern if you would like to give it a go:  buy here



The back.



The front.



Bribing Oliver with M&M's so that he will stand still!  :)  

Stay tuned for pattern #3, it is almost done!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Oliver's winter hat

I have published my first pattern!  It is a crocheted hat - a balaclava (finlandshette på norsk) that I designed last winter.  Check it out!


I was really lucky with it.  It is my first pattern and it worked out on the first try.  It took me a long time to make the other sizes though.  Mostly because I am easily distracted by other projects.  But here is a picture of the 3 sizes.


It is a really stretchy comfy hat so the sizes are pretty flexible I think.  I made a baby, toddler and child size.  Oliver uses his everyday.  He is actually on his second hat.... the first one is getting worn out.  It is perfect for our climate here in northern Norway.





I have the pattern for sale on ravelry.  So if you would like to buy it then you can click here:

BUY HERE


I hope you will try it out and let me know if you like it!




Oliver my sweet little model :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Zoltan


















This is Zoltan.  I made him on vacation in Minnesota.  My mom (aka sewing superwoman) had this cool book by Fiona Goble and it has some really cute monster projects that are great for beginners (aka me).

































So I made him under the expert guidance of my mom while Oliver "helped".  Here is Oliver helping me stuff Zoltan.

























And playing with Zoltan.

























Oliver likes Zoltan.  :)





Thursday, June 2, 2011

Project Sweater

I finally finished a big project!  I am very proud of myself! Check it out!























I have been inspired to try out sweater patterns lately and this one is my big achievement.  It is made from Dale baby wool yarn and is inspired by a pattern by Bonnie Jacobs, Baby Hoodie - a free ravelry download.  I changed the pattern a bit to make it bigger and incorporate a zipper instead of making a pullover.  I think it turned out great.  Here are some process pics:












































My "helper" Oliver.  :)


























Checking for size.


























Zippers are fun!






























































Stripes = lots of ends to weave in.  




















It took me about a month to make.  Of course, I made other stuff too and waited a while for the zipper in the mail...  and I work.... and have a 1 year old...  :)  


























Yea! Crocheting is fun. :)




































































I made another sweater, too.  It took 2 days to make.  The difference - thick yarn.  It is also pretty cute although the pattern is for thinner yarn and makes a newborn size.  So this was an experiment to see if just using huge yarn would work.  (drops eskimo) It did... but the neckline is huge....  I still like it.  I use it a lot when Oliver naps outside because it is chunky and warm.  :)




























Here is the pattern link.  

And sweater number 3....  




















I messed up and have to take apart!  Don't hold your breath! ;-)  

But the conclusion: sweaters are fun to crochet - for babies.  :-)