Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Aldi Adventure

For the past maybe two or three months, my family has had a rough time financially. Times have been tough, but I try to see the good in things. It has really taught me to budget. I'm not ashamed to say its something I've always had some trouble with. And groceries have always given me problems. It always seems like I go to the store, spend a lot of money...get home and realize that I didn't get much for my money. And it always seemed like I got a ton when I was shopping!

I've figured out different ways to save money. Since I've been the only one to do the grocery shopping in the past 7 years...I've pretty much memorized the prices of things. I have a little list of all the things my family eats frequently (which I'm always adding to). Every weekend, I sit down with the list and pick out a week's worth of food. I write the price next to it usually rounding up, then I'll add it all up. If it ends up being more than I'd like, I cross things off that are unnecessary. I take away things...and add things until I have the right price. Going once a week alone has saved a lot of money.

Then I go to the store. I usually try to keep the kids at home because they almost always talk me into getting something. I get only what's on my list (except when I have a little extra money, then I might get a few more things). If I stick to the list, the price is usually right around what I came up with at home, give or take a couple of dollars. I also rarely buy brand names. I think that is obvious for saving money. There are only a couple of things I will buy that are brand names. For example the Kraft individually wrapped cheese is actually a bit cheaper than the store brand. Crazy!

This week is going to be tough, I knew I had to squeeze in as many groceries as I could for my tiny budget this week. So I sat down with the list, and tried to get the price down as much as I could. There comes a point where you can't get it any lower no matter what you do. So I was set. I decided to take my daughter with me. At the last minute I thought about Aldi. The town I live in has four grocery stores. There's Price Chopper, which is a pretty big but kind of local store...It's kind of expensive when I go there, but I prefer to get meat there. There's John's Super which is a very small family owned's also pretty expensive. I've gone there once or twice. There's Walmart...this is the one I usually go to. It's not my favorite place, but its cheap so that's where I do my shopping. And last, there's Aldi. 

My dad went to Aldi all the time when I was younger. I just hated it. I know a lot of people love Aldi, but I really don't. The Aldi here is very small, its in a tiny stip of stores. There's a smell when you walk in...its hard to describe. But today, after doing my list...I thought I might be able to get more food for my money so I went to that's where I went. I forgot that Aldi doesn't have bags...and you needed a quarter for the cart, so my daughter and I went home to get that stuff and came back. I was surprised when I actually started looking around. Maybe disappointed is the better word here. The prices were the same as Walmart, some things were more expensive. If things were cheaper, it was only by a couple of cents. I left with only a couple of things and continued on to Walmart to finish my list. The savings were definitely not enough to exclusively shop there. I do have to say though, I got some waffle fries there that were actually pretty good...they were also the same price as Walmart. I also took a look at the produce, it didn't look too bad, honestly.

Maybe it was my already biased opinion of Aldi, perhaps it was because the store setup is just a mess and I couldn't find anything. The fact that they have a whole one cashier to check out everybody in the store, or that this particular Aldi is so small. I just know I won't be going back.

Walmart may not have the greatest food, but for being the cheapest place in my town, it gets the job done.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New site is coming soon!

   Oh and before I forget to mention it...I don't think I have yet lol...I'm in the process of making a new blog on Wordpress. I'd like to transfer all my patterns over there. I've been working on it for a long time, but before I open it, I'd like to make sure everything is perfect! 

   I'm working on the logo, and a better name lol. 

Turtle Pattern free!

   I've been thinking about doing this for a long time, but I always forget! Back when I put the turtle pattern up for sale, I'll admit we were having a lot of money troubles. Luckily, things have gotten better and I want to put them up for free now! Oh, and before anybody says I'm ripping people off because people paid $1.99 for the pattern, and now they can just get it free....Well, I'll admit this too. Nobody bought it haha.

   These turtles really did turn out perfect (for me anyways lol), and I want to share them. So you can now download the pattern for free here.

   One thing I never really made clear in the pattern though...I made a ton of these making sure the pattern was right and such...You can use whatever kind of yarn you want (acrylic, wool, etc). I made some with acrylic, and some with cotton, and personally...I think they look MUCH better with cotton. The two turtles in the picture above were made with Lily Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. If you have any problems, or find a mistake in the pattern, please let me know! You can send me an email at I'll be happy to help! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Trying Out Something Different

    Last year, I asked my mom (who has been crocheting for years) if she had any crochet magazines or books lying around, because I was looking for new patterns. She let me borrow a huge collection of older patterns she has saved over the years. A lot of them were done with thread, lots and lots of doilies. Some very nice too. Well, at the end of this book were a lot of patterns done with Tunisian Crochet. I had never seen this before, and I thought to myself..."Nah, that's just not for me."

    .....Just like I've always said, "Nah, crochet just isn't for me" haha. I've said that for years, ever since my mom tried to teach me when I was in elementary school. Then I saw amigurumi patterns, decided to give it another try, and I was hooked! (No pun intended! :P)

    Anyways, last week I started thinking of trying out Tunisian Crochet. I don't know why, just all of a sudden I got this urge to try it out. So I went out and got myself a few afghan hooks. I'm so happy I did! It was a little exciting to learn something new, even though I've been crocheting for quite a while. 

    Unfortunately, I haven't found all that many patterns online. I ended up scanning and keeping the patterns from my mom's book, but I gave it back to her. If I remember correctly, most of the Tunisian patterns were for huge blankets, and charts. I prefer to make smaller things. I will make the occasional blanket, but I like things that I can finish faster...Like amigurumi, kitchen things like tawashis, purses, hats, etc. AND if I wanted a chart...I'd so make my own, I'm a huge video game nerd and I need things with game sprites on them...Like Simon Belmont...that would be amazing!

    Seriously, I'd love to make a scarf or something with Simon on it! It would have to be the Original Simon though, new Simon and Alucard would be too hard lol, too many colors for me haha! So I just had to share how fun Tunisian Crochet is. If you've never tried it, I highly recommend going out and getting an afghan hook and trying it out!

Monday, July 4, 2011

New Pattern!

I have a new pattern up! You can check it out on Ravelry or Etsy! After lots of thought, I decided to go ahead and sell the pattern, but not to worry! I'll have a new free pattern up soon!

Outside, just chilling in the grass

They were originally called "Teeny Tiny Turtles", but as I was putting it up on Ravelry, turns out there were already like 5 patterns with the same name. So, now they are known as "Teenie Weenie Turtles"...I think I like that better anyways. They're so small, but I just love them!

Chilling on the stairs

I was supposed to be making something else, but all of a sudden, these little guys popped in my head! I spent forever trying to get the right number of rounds, and especially the edging around the shell, but I think they turned out great! I thought about just making them as pincushions, but then I decided to just call them toys, or even bath toys, my daughter took every turtle I made and played with them in the bath tub lol. 

Chilling with friends

I thought about it for a long time, and in the end, I decided to sell the pattern. I really did spend a long time trying to get not only the pattern and finished product perfect, but I spent about 3 days trying to make the PDF file look presentable, AND write an entire tutorial on how to do the magic ring, to be as thorough as possible for people just beginning their crocheting adventures lol. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Magic Ring Tutorial!

I decided to do this for a pattern I put up for sale...It was already 4 pages long and the file size was huge, so I decided to put it here to save space, and make the tutorial free! I would never want to make anyone pay for a tutorial. If you want to check out the turtle pattern for sale, its on Etsy and Ravelry!

I love using the magic ring, I think its the best way to start amigurumi as it leaves no hole, unlike other methods. It might seem a little hard at first, but once you get used to it, you'll be doing it as fast as ever! This is my first tutorial, I hope it helps!

Grab the tail of your yarn and lay it across your palm, the tail sort of draping over your index finger

Well, the tail should drape around your index finger, NOT
your palm lol
Then you'll want to take your tail, still behind your index finger, and wrap it around your middle and ring fingers TWICE

You'll want to leave a longer tail, long enough to hold it
with your pinky and pull to close later.
Now, holding the tail with your pinky finger, and your hand kind of closed around the yarn to hold in place, insert your hook underneath both of the loops wrapped around your middle and ring fingers. Catch the yarn from your index finger (the yarn in back) and pull up a loop. Ch 1 (or however many, depending on what stitch you're using. I will be using single crochets). 

Now you can do however many stitches your pattern needs. For this tutorial, I'm doing 6 single crochets in the ring. You do it the same way you did your ch 1, by inserting the hook under both loops, catching the yarn behind your index finger, pulling up a loop. YO and pull through both loops, and there you go! One Single crochet! When you the right number of stitches, you'll want to pull the loop on your hook to make it bigger, so when we're closing the ring, no stitches will be lost!

Now its time to close the ring!
Now you have two loops...but which one to pull? Well, once you get used to using a magic ring, you'll know which one to pull. Its actually the yarn right next to your tail. To make sure, especially if you're a beginner, is to gently pull on the tail...Don't pull too hard!

When you pull on the tail, you'll notice one of the loops starting to close. See the side that's closing? Pull the opposite side of that same loop. (You should pull on the right side of the ring, again, right by the tail.)

When you pull the tail, one loop should start to close,
the other one won't move.
Pull that loop and tightly close your ring!
Now you will have one large loop left. Its time to finish the ring! Pull the tail tight, and congrats! Your ring is finished! When I was first starting out, I would get this far, but the tail just would not move! Pulling so hard, the yarn would actually break! It turned out I was pulling the wrong loop  in the step before, the first loop we pulled. I just thought I would mention this because it took me a long time to figure out why that was happening lol. 

So if you're having a lot of trouble pulling your tail to finish your ring, make sure you're pulling the right loop when you're first closing the ring.

I have no idea why I left my tail SO long lol.
Now just put your hook back in the loop and tighten it. If you're not sure where to start the next round, just count your stitches starting from the hook!

Now you'll just continue with the pattern, usually 2 sc in each st around, make sure you put a stitch marker in the first st of the round, you don't want to lose your place! (I know a lot of people put a stitch marker in the last stitch of the previous round, you can do it either way, but I always put it in the first.)

Of course, move the stitch marker up every round! 

And that's it! I hope this will help people that are having trouble, I know I had some trouble when I was first learning. If you have any questions, just leave a comment! You can also email me with questions at

Have fun making your amigurumi!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hats and Stuff!

Well, I made some hats I for Girls Only some were ok, some were meh and boring lol. I was surprised to see some of these boutiques charging so much for such a simple hat...

I guess on the boutiques they're calling them Kufi Hats...Personally...I just call them shelly hats lol. Obviously, they're incredibly easy to make. Why spend like $20 on a hat that takes less than an hour to make? They're pretty cute too, much cuter on someone than laying flat on a table lol. And they're especially cute with a bow or flower clipped on!!

But ya, just wanted to say that my next pattern will PROBABLY be one of these hats. I'm still deciding exactly how I want the shells to be and such. Plus TRY to make them in different sizes. I dunno, that's the hardest part for me. I have some guidelines on how to wing hats and get them to fit right...But while I'm making them, they either seem too big or too small, even when the measurements are perfect...maybe its just me lol.

Plus its pretty hard for me to make them different sizes when I don't have someone here to model it lol. I don't have a baby 0-3 months...3-6...6-12, and so on lol. So ya they would prolly be either adult size or 4 year old girls size lol.