I could not find a stock photo that depicts how I feel today but I am doing much better! I did The Work for a while and burned through some crazy thoughts that I mistakenly believed to be truth. Then I bitched and moaned to my husband and he helped me discover another silly story that I was telling myself that had absolutely nothing to do with reality and that silly story let go ofme. As you can see, by the fact there is less grunting and incomplete sentences in this post, I am much less stressed today.
So, here is what I have on my crafting plate:
I am still in the pattern-testing stage for the X-Stitch Shirttail Top. My testers have been wonderful, finding typos, confusing instructions, and math errors. Someday, I will be a rich and famous crochet designer and be able to pay my testers cash but for now it’s just a couple of free patterns.
X-Stitch Shirtail Top
The recent stressful crap in my life has curtailed my crochet design creativity so I decided to make something for me! I am currently knitting Patons Grace Drop Stitch Top. You have to sign up for free on the Patons website to view their free patterns. I already had to rip out about 50 rows and start over again because I dropped a stitch on a row before a drop-stitch row and therefore, couldn’t just pick up the dropped stitch. This is why I don’t knit much.
I am also almost finished crocheting the shrug for my next shrug pattern. I just need one more skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease to complete it but I haven’t been able to find the time to drive the 20 miles to the nearest Joann’s to buy it! This should be a super easy pattern so I won’t need any pattern testing.
UPDATE 8/5/2012: I already have the testers I need for this pattern. Stayed tuned for future announcements!
I really need a few experienced/inexperienced crocheters, who are decent at math, to test my X-Stitch Shirttail Top Pattern and some of my future patterns. As a form of payment, I would like to give my pattern testers 2 of my patterns for free - currently for sale and any future patterns – testers’ choice.
I need crocheters who can:
Check my math
Check my written patterns for typos, grammar and consistency
Crochet a different size than my prototype and model
Give general constructive criticism
I am not looking for perfection! I think beginners make excellent pattern testers because we crochet veterans sometimes forget what its like to be a newby. I figure 2 or 3 testers per pattern would give me a variety of help. I am going to put together a non-disclosure agreement that will need to be signed.
If you are interested, please do the following:
Follow my blog and read it regularly.
When I post a “Pattern Tester Wanted” post, comment on it and let me know or email me at deedum36 at gmail dot com and I will get back to you.
You will have to inform me of your desire to test a pattern each time I put out a request.
So, I need pattern testers for my X-Stitch Shirttail Top. Go here for some pattern details.
Yesterday, on Crochet Concupiscence’s Tweet site, there were links to some cute, Japanese Amigurumi sites. I especially liked this Japanese commercial. I love looking at Amigurumi and other kinds of crochet and handmade dolls, but I don’t like actually making them. The tight crocheting hurts my hands and I don’t enjoy sewing the pieces together.
Here is some cuteness to balance out the heaviness from yesterday’s blog post. I tried to make the pictures click to the websites but it didn’t work. I will try again later:
Tiny Sock Monkey
Doll from CrochetMe. Click on pic and keep scrolling down. Loads of cuteness!
Hello Kitty makes me happy! Pattern book on Etsy
Here’s some Mochimochi:
Teeny, Tiny, Candy Corn. Click and scroll down but don’t forget to look at the other stuff on the page!
I just joined Craftsy about 3 months ago and its already one of my favorite new websites! Here’s an excerpt: from the home page:
Welcome to Craftsy!
We’re a community of people who love to make things – learning from, inspiring and helping one another.
A list of what this website offers:
Online video courses, ranging from 0$ to 39$, in Cake Decorating, Food Craft, Gardening, Crocheting, Knitting, Holiday, Jewelry, Paper Crafts, Quillting, Sewing, Spinning, and Weaving.
“Craftsy Workshops are tutorials from amazing designers that include the pattern, instructions, and step-by-step photos. And, the BEST part: you’ll never get stuck…just ask the pattern designer for help!”, $11.99 to $15.99.
Patterns, free and for sale. This is my favorite part of the website. The listings are very clear, the pics are big, and your purchased pattern is downloaded from their servers. If you want to list your patterns, this place is way better than Etsy and Ravelry because there are no fees, listing is fast and easy, and THERE ARE NO FEES! Craftsy is where I sell the most patterns.
Project listings, just like on Ravelry.
A Page called, “Deals”, with listings for yarn, fabric and assorted supplies. I haven’t explored this yet.
The entire website is clean and easy to read and navigate. Lots of stuff but not too busy! Check it out! Comment below if you find anything cool over there I need to know about.
This technique is another way of crocheting your first row after the beginning chain row. I use this technique in my free Charmed Wrap Bracelet pattern. You can use it with any crochet stitch and it produces a nice “v” or braided edge at the bottom of your chain which looks good without adding edging. Or, if you are adding an edge or joining, it will be easier because it produces “two loops” just like the top two loops of a single or double crochet stitch.
The following video demontrates the technique using single crochet:
This next video shows all the parts of the chain and three ways you can crochet into a chain with pros and cons of each way:
So, there you have it! You have a little more flexability by choosing the best technique for how to crochet that first row. If you are following a pattern that doesn’t specify a way, choose one that fits the needs of the finished item. Even if the pattern specifies which technique to use, so what? Use the one that you think would work better for you and the finished item.
Last week, I took my 13-year old son to our local Tilly’s to get his monthly pair of skateboarding shoes because last month’s pair left pieces of its sole all over our neighborhood street. As I was paying at the register I saw these:
And the angels sang…
And the angels sang…
Pura Vida Bracelets! And they were less than $10 each! Did I buy one? Nope, I said, “I can make that”! But I think I am going to buy one because they are so cute and bohoey (I just made that word up: definition: bohemian), and hippy. I don’t know why I like my bracelets bohoey (I said it again!) and hippy.
I love the intention and story behind the Pure Vida Company, which you should read here. But I just can’t resist the challenge of figuring out a pattern for these bracelets. So, stay tuned…
For years I wanted to design crochet fashion but fear kept me from doing it. First of all, I have no knowledge of fashion design. Second of all, I always thought of myself as not being original or creative. And then, something changed inside me – whether it was menopause, age and experience, or that extra cup of coffee everyday – I suddenly felt more assertive, more willing to take chances, more willing to fail! Around the same time, I had a minor epiphany: how many people in this world are truely original? All artists derive inspiration from somewhere, and I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. That worry I had about not being original was keeping me from realizing my potential originality! Finally free to be the derivitive artiste I was meant to be, I started looking at fashion not as, “Why didn’t I think of that”, but as, “I can copy/crochet that”!
Now, every knitting pattern I come across is a potential crochet pattern. All my favorite shirts, sweaters, blouses in my closet are potential crochet patterns. That cute, oversized sweater at Kohl’s Department Store? A crochet pattern. Here are some things that are inspiring me right now. Some are closer to becoming a crochet pattern than others:
Elegant Sparkle Shrug Pattern. Model is my daughter who is a little taller and thinner than me.
The number one question I get about my shrugs is, “How do you put it on?” I remember my first shrug. It was a free vintage pattern for a bedjacket shrug from the ’50′s or ’40;s. I followed the pattern, completed it and said, “Whaaaat?” It was just a folded rectangle of crochet! How can this be worn? This is the reply I have been sending to my buyers who have asked:
After the shrug has been completed, hold it so the fold is on top and the open ends are on the bottom. Open the bottom, slide your arms in the armholes and, Ta Daaaa! It magically transforms into a cardigan that looks like a shawl with sleeves! Once its on, you can adjust it by folding the collar back and moving the shrug across your shoulders so that its even.
Crochet X-Stitch Shrug Pattern $5.00. Model is my daughter.
Shrugs are very customizable. I always design a pattern to fit me (I’m short with boobage) so here is how you can easily customize any of my shrug patterns to fit your size:
Before you seam the sides, pin the sides up to the armholes. I like using those little claw hair clips. Try the shrug on. If it doesn’t seem to hang right, like it does in my photos, crochet some more rows and try it on again.
You can also see how it looks folded with the crochet pattern horizontal or vertical.
You can easily make the armholes smaller or larger by seaming up the sides higher or lower.
You can add as many rows for the sleeves as you want. Or, don’t put any rows of stitches on the armholes at all!
Hot Blue Shrug FREE Pattern. This model is very tiny! Big gals will need to add more rows.
I hope this helps clarify some things. I love getting questions and feedback on my patterns so keep it coming!