Monday, May 24, 2010

Handmade Items Now Available & Customizable

Suzie Stitches is now taking orders for homemade items, which include summer hats, wristlets, small "wallet-like" clutches that can hold your credit / debit cards, etc., and cup koozies.

For warmer weather I use a thinner, sports-weight yarn and I'm currently working on a shell and/or scallop stitch which makes bigger holes in the pattern, thereby not trapping in so much heat on the head.

My wristlets are smaller, longer items that can be worn on the wrist and dangle down, making cell-phone portability easier and more convenient.

The small clutches I'm making can be made more masculine-friendly for men who want to hold their wallet items, but have a handmade touch. Please note, however, that these are meant for either men or women. I recently made one for my 19-year-old nephew, and added Velcro instead of a button, making it less of an embarrassment for him to carry around a crocheted item. I also make bigger clutches to replace a hand-bag look for girls. Both size clutches have a tighter, smaller stitch so that if coins are being carried, they won't fall out.

Lastly, I'm making a whole lot of cup koozies for the summer. These can be made in any length, weight, and color you desire. I'm also working on adding felt projects to these which may include a design, animal, or item to the side of the koozie making it more specific to a person's interest (i.e., crown, owl, tar heel, etc.).

Email Suzie Stitches at

Most all items can be made and delivered within a one to two week period.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Finding therapy in an age-old tradition.

"You crochet?" I was recently asked. I'm sure the smirk on the girlfriend's face wasn't meant to hurt, but, rather, invite my explanation as to why I do it and how I've turned this traditionally Grandmother-esque hobby into a potentially cool one.

You see, approximately a year and a half ago our family's life took an odd turn. While our oldest son fell head-first into his teenage years, his typical angst took an ugly side-street and terrible personality traits reared their ugly head(s). Using my own inner faith to calm me, I prayed that God would give me something to take my mind off the day-to-day bumps in the road. I'd hoped it would be to rechannel my writing and focus more on that novel that's been on the tip of my fingers for years. Or, perhaps, I didn't feel it was too much to ask to have a lovely singing voice and the ability to share it with others. Neither happened. But, that's the funny thing about getting what you need; not always what you want.

If you've read any of my earlier posts (there are soooo many), then you have an understanding of how I came to crochet, but what I haven't shared until now is why. Although to respect the privacy of my son and our family, I won't go into the details, but I will say that when I picked up crocheting, I wanted to put it down immediately. I was bored. This was just another boring, albeit cheap, hobby that I didn't see concluding productively. But, as I've explained before, I just couldn't put it down, and after some patience with myself, I've found that I'm a natural at it!

Don't get me wrong, my first love will always be writing, and from time-to-time, I will sing in the shower, laundry room, and when I'm alone in the car. Until then, I will continue to hone my crocheting skills and continue to create whatever I'm meant to create!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Question of the week: "Have I created a monster?"

When I began my newfound habit of crocheting in November, I had no idea it would end up where it is today. Meaning, I believe I've stumbled on the latest fashion craze - not neckwarmers, like I'd hoped, but, instead, baby and children hats!

From time to time I will browse through or to find inspiration. You see, I like things that are acceptable, but different. For instance, when I saw an Irish woman's version of a neckwarmer, scarflette, or cowl (depending on where you are located) I immediately thought, I can do that! I began crocheting countless neckwarmers for friends and family members, they truly became cheaper alternatives for Christmas-gift spoiling, but, I always seemed to garner the same response: "Wow. Thanks. What is it?" Side note about me: When "I" like something, especially if I become amazed and excited about it, I assume those around me will feel the same. My husband calls this the "Hansborough Effect." ----to be explained at a later date or upon personal requests by email--- Well, the neckwarmers didn't take off as much as I'd hope. However, I did stumble across a precious baby beanie with bear ears and decided to tackle that design. A co-worker's 1 1/2-year-old son became my muse, and so I set off to tackle this garment. Two days later, bear-eared hat in hand, she loved it! Her opinion truly meant a lot to me because she knows a lot of mothers in the community, therefore, if she loved the hat, others would follow!

Needless to say, they did and have....and I've created no less than four hats over this past snowy weekend! I can crochet a hat in about a day or less, so I'm thinking of taking this newfound fanatic "on the road," so to speak. I might take the summer months to stock up and create as many hats as I can, then, as the season shifts to cooler breezes, perhaps I'll set up shop at our local Octoberfest or Farmer's Market to sell my newfound prizes. Have I created a monster in my baby beanies? Perhaps, but it's so darn much fun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

So....what exactly are you trying to say, Suzanne?

NOTE: This is the second attempt at this posting....the first one crashed on me. Thank you, Mozilla.

When I posted a link on my Facebook page directing my friends and family to this blog, I didn't fully grasp that I would need to add blogs to it. Sure, sure, I know what a blog is, but for some reason my first blog (which, by the way is nothing short of a novel - geesh) just seemed to sum up my thoughts.

Cliffnotes version: I developed this hobby....I like it....things are taking off unexpectantly....thank you for your time.

I didn't fully comprehend that I would actually need to write things. Now, for those who know me, I love to write! So, this is not a problem for me. What I actually wanted this blog to become, however, was an alternative site for my crochet pieces - to display them and then, hopefully, lure you to my page to make a purchase or two. Now, however, I know that I will actually need to write, entice, and post photos to actual do said-luring.

So...onto my next, true blog entry....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crochet is the name of the game

No matter where I am or what city I go to, when the weather turns cold there are crocheted scarfs, hats, and gloves worn by the scores. I bet the money spent on these items is in the millions at this point - could I be underselling this guestimate?

Last fall, these little seasonal gems got me thinking - How can I tap into this market with a product that is similar, cheaper, easier (for me to produce), and with a less-than-typical look? The answer came one day when I went to church - of all place! One Sunday in November I passed by a tub filled with yarn. Yellow ones....blues ones....multi-colored ones....all with thick, thin, and every feel in between. It seems the ladies in the church will crochet or knit blankets or shawls for those confined to their homes. Many years ago, my mother had taught me how to crochet, but I'd never continued the habit. As I remember it, many of my "projects" ended up curling within themselves, or, boredom set in at a mind-boggling speed.

Back to the church-tub inspiration: Eyeing this tub of cotton, acrylic, and wool, I decided to retry my hand at this old French pastime. At first the old unwanted habit of curling bits began to happen, which immediately discouraged me. Oddly enough, though, no matter how many times I'd put my miniature hammock down in frustration, I always felt compelled to pick it up and give it one more try. Perhaps it's age, maturity, or a last grasp of patience, but I became obsessed with correcting my crocheting. I'd Google patterns, watch YouTube how-tos religiously, I even tried my hand at visiting a yarn store near my house to get some tips....which developed into a near panic-attack when I tried to find an aluminum crocheting needle, but only found "professional" ones made of steel with plastic ergonomic finger holds.

When I revealed my new-found love to my sister, she revealed to me a suitcase-sized amount of scarves, throws, and shawls she'd made. I'd had no idea! She tried in big sis desperation to walk me through the "single crochet," "double crochet," and an attempt at "treble," or, "triple crochet" wording, but without a basic knowledge her concepts were nothing but foreign to me. Thinking that I was doing a single crochet, I found out three projects in that I was actually creating all my items with a slip stitch.... completely .... throughout every neckwarmer, bracelet, and cup cozy. Now, don't get me wrong, this stitch is quite a handsome, clean look for a project, but also very time consuming. I was creating a garment in a week when it really should have only taken me a couple of days! But, when you don't know you are wasting time, it's pretty irrelevant, right?

Don't worry...I'm much better now and just like my teachers, coaches, parents, grandparents, neighbors, pastor, and mailman advised, practice does make perfect. While I wouldn't say that I am in the realm of perfection, I have learned a few tricks, appropriate lingo, and techniques in the world of crocheting, and since November 2009, I've completed seven neckwarmers, four bracelets, two cup cozies, five hats (three berets and two beanies), a cast cover (when my 8 year old was pretending his arm was broken), a small draw-string bag, a bolster, and a horizontal-shaped wallet-looking sleeper for aforementioned 8 year old's miniature dolphin.

Although I have a full time job as a director at a university, I am now beginning to put my items up for sale on Many of the items I've created (and of which are pictured on this blog) have sold to family, friends, and others, or have been made as birthday or "just because" gifts.  If you see something you like and would like it customized, please know that my prices are very reasonable and I take orders 24 hours a day! 
I look forward to continuing to hone my skills on your garments :-).