Howdy! Welcome to Cottontails Craft Hut! Here’s how I got here and why I started the Hut.
I know! I’ll teach myself how to crochet!
This is how I started out – crochet only. I used to get interested in projects, such as mosaic art or weaving. I’d buy a bunch of stuff to work with, do it for a little while and then lose interest. At some point, I decided that I needed to pick something affordable and stick with it. I didn’t want to feel like I had to do it every day – if I lost interest for a while, just set it down and pick it up again when the mood strikes me. That’s how I ended up learning crochet, and even that took nearly a decade to settle into.
After my husband and I got married in Stowe, Vermont back in 2002, we moved up there and rented part of a large house about 20 miles from the Canadian border near a little town called Glover. We lived there for a year, and it was a great experience, but life called us back to Texas in the fall of 2003.
While we were living in Vermont and still planning to stay there permanently, I thought crochet would be a good thing to learn to have something to do during the long winters. I got a ways into it – just teaching myself – but my heart wasn’t in it, and we mostly just played video games a lot.
Second Verse, Different than the First
Fast forward to around 2010-2012. I was working part-time, going to Tarleton State through McLennan Community College part-time, and I wanted, once and for all, to learn how to crochet. This time, I watched YouTube videos, bought magazines with simple crochet projects, bought a few books with good, illustrated instructions and one book that was terrible! I took a Craftsy class that helped a lot.
In 2015, I was between jobs, at home a lot, and part-way into my first afghan. It was a project that I worked on for a bit and then set down for a while. I had a hard time staying motivated, but it was going well enough. Then, I broke a toe. I didn’t just break it, I darn near broke it off my foot! Well, that’s what it felt like anyway. I was parked on the couch for two weeks, so I determined to finish that afghan. The funny thing is, the box the afghan yarn was in was what I broke my toe on!
I finished that afghan, and although I know I would do a much better job these days, it really turned out very good.
Backing up just a touch, In 2013/2014, my hair finally got long enough to wear in a bun. One of the ladies I worked with explained that she used a sock to make her bun, so I got on YouTube and learned how to do it. Once I got used to making my bun, I got the idea of making sock bun hats, vaguely reminiscent of traditional Scottish snoods in days of old. Now, when you Google snood, results include some game app and a million different kinds of things, most of which look like cowls to me, but here are the types of snoods I’m talking about and the sock bun hats I made:
I developed a pattern for my sock bun hats and made a bunch of them – all different colors, some solid, some with lots of little windows, and I wore them every day. Then, I got a haircut. No more bun for a while, but it was during this time that I discovered Red Heart Scrubby yarn.
Using the same principles I was using to make the sock bun hats, I started working on dish scrubbies and worked out a couple of patterns – one for a simple scrubby and one for a flower-shaped scrubby. I got an Etsy account and put a number of scarfs, hats, and scrubbies on for sale. In addition, I wrote up my own patterns for the basic scrubby and the flower scrubby and made those available for sale for a dollar or two, but I did not sell a single crochet item. The patterns sold well and continue to sell.
I take that back – I did sell a few scrubbies that I personally made, but it became clear very quickly that I was going to do better selling patterns than items. I also posted the sock bun hat instructions for sale, but it turns out that not too many people are interested in making a tiny hat to cover their hair bun.
Sewing is something I have always wanted to learn, but my past attempts mostly left me frustrated and frequently bleeding. That’s part of the reason I chose crochet – no sharp points! Still, I had a soft spot in my heart for sewing and had had some minor success with a little Kenmore sewing machine I used many years ago.
A couple of years ago, I upgraded to a Singer Featherweight C240 during a fantastic sale at JoAnn’s. I watched a basic sewing class on Craftsy, and then my sewing machine sat in its case for a year-and-a-half because I worked too much to use it. I longed to make my own curtains for the house we moved into in 2018. The windows have mini-blinds, but they seem so bland and utilitarian.
When I left my job in March 2020 due to COVID-19, I set out to figure out that sewing machine. I found that I was much better at the whole sewing process. It was like in The Lego Movie when Emmet found that he could “see everything”. It’s not like I suddenly understood everything about sewing, but I could figure out what I needed to do and do it consistently. I could find the help I needed on the internet to fix a problem I was having with my bobbin thread, and it worked.
I started making N95 and surgical style masks. I made quilted potholders and ice cream pint koozies. I mended my husband’s pants and made some easy alterations to the spaghetti straps on my maxi dresses. And I finally got my curtains made! Six sets so far – four double-panels and two single-panels. It has been a joy and a pleasure to have such success with sewing!
Cottontails Craft Hut
It isn’t just about crochet and sewing – I love crafts. I scrapbook, I blog about gardening, I make bouquets from my rose garden and mint. I dry flowers and use them for shadowboxes and glass jars, I make pinboards, and I love birdwatching. This site is about sharing simple, creative projects that anyone can learn how to do, sharing products that really help get the job done, troubleshooting, and just plain brainstorming.
All the best,
Cottontails Craft Hut