Jenn Alvin
Jenn and her Piñata friend

Hi, I’m Jenn Alvin! My superhero name is Prototype.

Thank you for visiting my crafty blog. My goal is to inspire people to try new things. I’ve been craft-failing forward for years, and I believe that failure isn’t the opposite of success. It is part of it. I believe it is better to plunge ahead than to plan for weeks because learning by doing is a powerful tool. Every craft project I’ve messed up — sometimes with hilarious results — has been a stepping stone to being a better maker.

I’m sharing my projects, warts and all. No production crew. No social media consultants. Just me and the random projects that strike my fancy. My goal is to inspire people to try new things and craft fail forward.

Knitting, spinning yarn, sewing clothing, leather-working, card making, and jewelry creation are some of the disciplines I work in. Many of my projects use all sorts of reclaimed and recycled items. Crafting doesn’t stay in one room. I’ve also branched out into baking, winemaking, cheesemaking, and sausage making.

I live in Portland, Oregon with my geeky writer husband Aaron. We like to help each other out — I’ve lettered a few of his comic-book titles, and he helped me bedazzle a thrift store Christmas tree when I didn’t want to drop several hundred dollars on an off-the-shelf aluminum tree. It’s amazing what 2 cans of silver spray paint and a quarter pound of purple glitter can do for a $10 thrift store artificial tree. Our craft, brewing, and homesteading projects have gotten our home listed on the “Place You Want to Hide Out When the Zombie Apocalypse Hits” for three years running.

Want to place a custom order? Collaborate on a project? Please drop me a line.

Like my projects? I have an Etsy shop!

3 skeins of multiple color handspun yarn

Knitting & Fiber Arts

I’ve been knitting since 2001, and took up spinning yarn in 2019. I almost always have yarn and needles in my bag as a “fidget project.”

Homemade shoes

Craft

 I tend to mentally reverse-engineer everything I see, and it often manifests itself into ambitious projects.

Jenn Alvin performs bass guitar with her Ladies Rock Camp band

Adventures

When presented with an opportunity, I ask myself, “When will I get the chance to do this again?” and jump into the adventure. 

Food & Drink

Challenging myself with kitchen sink dishes and wacky foods. I’ve also been learning brewing and winemaking.

Challenges

I love to set odd challenges for myself. I made an unlucky leprechaun hat after a friend and I spent a St. Patrick’s Day in a pub sketching designs on napkins. I may not always be successful, but I always learn something along the way. 

Women's back. She is wearing a black t-shirt with a ribcage

Clothing

I love to sew, knit, and make accessories. Clothing modification is one of my specialties.