Saturday, December 11, 2010

Second Saturday Giveaway: Win a BigHead Ted by Sarah of yarnscratch!

Posted by Crystal

For our December Second Saturday Giveaway, we are featuring yarnscratch by Sarah Richter aka Sarah Mascara!

This is Sarah in her basement workspace with some quilted pieces she has been making out of fabric she got at Flint Handmade Craft Supply Swaps.  I asked her about her workspace:

"Before a few months ago I never had my own workspace. And until about a year or two ago, when I started machine sewing, that really wasn't an issue. Crochet doesn't take a lot of space or time so it's easy to just pull out a few skeins and a hook and relax on the couch... Machine sewing takes up more space and certainly more time.

Sewing with a machine, for me, usually always means I need a plan and I need to know exactly what I'm doing even before I sit down to do it. When I do sew I mostly sew dresses for my 4-year-old daughter, Alpha, or small patchwork projects like baby quilts and sewing machine covers [shown above and below]. When cutting patterns or material pieces I usually just use the floor in front of my craft desk or my kitchen table.

Before I had my sewing desk, though, I had to pull my machine off a shelf, drag it upstairs to the kitchen table (where I might get to use it for 2 or 3 hours before I had to devote all my attention to my children or get out of the way of someone setting the table for a meal) and get to stitching there. It is so nice to have a place completely devoted to organized crafting!

I keep all my material (most of which is second or third or fifth hand) in old diaper boxes on top of my sewing desk.

All of my yarn is kept in further cardboard boxes and plastic bins in a bookshelf.

I have a few more shelving units that hold odds and ends like large plastic bags of safety eyes, ribbon, beads, etc.

Hanging on the wall next to my yarn-shelf are some prints and original art pieces that I have purchased at craft markets or that have been bought/made for me by my family and friends. Honestly, my craft materials and my closets are about the only organized parts of my life. Everything else is fairly scattered."

With all of these various supplies, I had to ask Sarah how she got into crafting:

"I guess it depends on the craft! My grandma taught me crochet, embroidery, and a bit about sewing before I was a teenager. But before I was into crafting I was an artist. I was drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. My whole family was always very encouraging of me and my sometimes crazy endeavors."

I can definitely vouch for Sarah's skills as an artist.  

Sarah showed me a pencil drawing she did of her daughter, Alpha. 

Then, Alpha showed me one of the dolls her mom had crocheted for her.  After seeing Alpha's photo, can't you just see her resemblance so well in Sarah's drawing of her?

In addition to Alpha's little gray kitty, there are lots of other crocheted dolls in Sarah's workspace and home. 


My next question for Sarah was about her favorite craft tool/material:
"I suppose the material I have the most success with is yarn. As mentioned previously, I was an artist before I was a crafter and I have always been fairly skilled with a pencil or pen. I do love to draw and there are few things I don't draw with confidence...

However, in high school, when I was taking art classes, I found myself at a complete loss when it came to sculpting and carving. I simply can't make clay or wood bend to my will. I would also only consider myself semi-successful when it comes to sewing soft-sculptured items like toys or toyish art.
But give me a skein of yarn and a hook and I can crochet anything I see. I can take the yarn, tie it in knots, and make it bend to my will, so to speak. I can make bacon and eggs and buttered toast to display on a plate in your kitchen. I can make a set of eight inch zombie dolls with twisted legs and spurting veins, each carrying a limb or brain or hunk of flesh. I can crochet a cuboid robot with button eyes and a penchant for mischief... or I can go the simpler route and stick with scarves and hats.  

In following that, I suppose my favorite crafting tool would be my yellow Clover crochet hooks. They're ergonomically designed and my hand doesn't get as tired using them as using plain rounded crochet hooks. They seem to slide more smoothly through yarn, too."

Yarn obviously plays a big role in Sarah's life, so I asked how she came up with her company name, yarnscratch:

"Actually, I was filling out an application for one of the Flint Handmade craft markets and it asked me for a company name. Embarrassingly, I didn't have one! Almost everything I had made for the market was crocheted from yarn and most of it was without a pattern and of my own creation so it was from scratch. I just threw it together and yarnscratch is what I came up with."

I was excited to learn that Flint Handmade played a role in naming Sarah's company!

I was also excited to see this pillow in Sarah's living room, because Flint Handmade featured it in the 2010 Festival of Quilts!

Sarah showed me the nifty tool she used to make the knit piping for the edges of the pillow.

The Embellish Knit makes long, skinny knit tubes that can then be felted to make them even tighter. I'm always very enamored with neat little craft devices, so I'm hoping Sarah invites me over again sometime to teach me know to use it. ;)

When I stopped by this time, Sarah was working on one of her crocheted zombies.

Sarah keeps her works-in-progress in this adorable monsta bag from our September Second Saturday Crafter, Steph Bills of Frankenstitch Productions!

Sarah also has a burgeoning library of crafting books like Amy Kesley of Made with Luv, our October Second Saturday Crafter!

I took one last look at some of Sarah's darling sewing supplies, including...

...a handmade cupcake pincushion and a pink tomato pincushion...

...and spools of yarn with a fancy pair of Gingher scissors!

Finally, I asked Sarah what craft projects she would like to work on in the future:
"More than half a year ago my daughter decided she was done wearing pants and was only going to wear dresses. She changed her tune slightly when the weather got cold and will begrudgingly wear pants outside the house now, but when she made the initial transition from pants to dresses I was inspired. I decided I was going to wear dresses instead of pants as well!

I picked up a few dresses from Goodwill and Salvation Army, some of which are vintage and obviously home sewn. They are inspiring to me as well. While I have made several dresses for my daughter, I've never made one for myself! I'm not ready to start making my own sewing patterns (though that would probably change if I could get enough money saved for a nice dressform...) so I'm still currently looking for just the right pattern to start out making dresses for myself.

I would also like to learn to knit, just because I have seen some really pretty knitted scarves and sweaters. I can knit, in theory... I know the basic stitches and I imagine that, much like crochet, pretty much everything beyond the basics is really just a variation of the basics. However, I find knitting to be much more tedious and time consuming than crochet so it will probably always be one of those crafts whose masters I will simply continue to be in awe of."

Well, we at Flint Handmade think Sarah is already a master crafter...and we are excited to have one of her cutie crocheted creations for our December Second Saturday Giveaway!

Sarah provided this description of the adorable crocheted tiny teddy bear she donated:

"The giveaway item is a BigHead Ted. He is part of a line of many other BigHeads, most of which are based on fictional characters. There have been several UnDeadTeds (zombie teddy bears, go figure), a LittleTed Riding Hood, a FrankenTed, a Shaun of the Ted (Shaun of the Dead, anyone?), PatchworkTed... Ahh, you get the point. This BigHead is a remake of my original Ted, the one who got everything started! He's made with acrylic yarn, safety eyes, embroidery floss, love, and polyfil. Good luck to the folks who enter the drawing and congrats to the winner."

For YOUR chance to win BigHead Ted (valued at $8), just complete steps A and B:

A) Follow Flint Handmade via the blog, Twitter, Google Reader or whatever newfangled "following application" tickles your fancy. Or, if you don't do the whole following thing, email us at and we will add you to our email list.

B) Leave us a comment in response to this blog post by 5pm on Saturday, December 18, 2010 answering the following 2 questions:

1) How do you follow us?

2) What type of Ted would you like to see Sarah make in the future?  Be creative!

Please be sure to answer BOTH questions to qualify for the drawing.

The winner will be selected at random and posted on the blog within one week after the deadline. We hope to hear from YOU and we hope you enjoyed our December Second Saturday Giveaway!


  1. What a lovely article about such a lovely person! I'd love to have a cupcake pin cushion if Sarah ever sells them!!

    I was feeling kind of icky today and this article and all the photos (and Sarah) really perked me up - and NO I'm not sucking up to win something - I just really enjoyed it. pat merewether

  2. I follow you by facebook the most. I think she should sell the next big head ted to me it can wear a tiny pink bow ;)

  3. Facebook. I would love to see a bighead of my little guy!

  4. Hm... I like Teds. I have a daughter that REALLY likes Teds. ;)

  5. I love Sarah's work and really just Sarah. She always serves up good food and beverages while sporting sweet crafts. She's quite the creative soul, in the future, I'd like to see her whip up a hippy Ted and/or a ballerina Ted.
    Susanna Tippett

  6. I follow Flint Handmade through facebook, the blog and their e-mails.

    Sarah is extremely talented and I wish I had the creative expression that she does with her crocheting.

    I think Ted would look neat with a hat. :D

  7. I follow y'all through email and the Facebook. As well as the actual events, of course.

    Perhaps we should have a Kim Jong Il Ted, or some other nefarious ruler - to soften them up a bit. Maybe if we just hug them, all their evil will go away...

    Or a soft Cap'n Crunch Ted. Because everyone loves irony.

  8. I'd love to see a tequila drinking Ted ... maybe called Eyes Red Ted. You could put soft fill in one side of him and beans in the other so he always tilts and maybe just have red Xs for eyes ... I dunno.


  9. 1. I follow u thru email and blog
    2. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, Polar Bear Ted I'm crazy about Polar Bears.

  10. 1. I follow on facebook and by email
    2. I would like a little rockstar Ted complete with guitar!