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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy Wednesday!

So, what is everyone working on this beautiful Wednesday?

I am working on a filet crochet brides purse. Im thinking of making a free pattern for it. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alas! Poor chain 3, I knew ye well



Still teaching this old dog new tricks

Surfing around the internet one day, I read a pattern that said to chain 2 to turn on a row with double crochet. 

I thought...hmmm, interesting.

So of course I had to try it and, (wait for it)........I loved it!

It really does make for a nice edge. So that is what I've been using ever since.

What do you use to turn on a row of double crochet?


   
Do you...
  
pollcode.com free polls 


Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Magic Ring?!?

So in my travels around the interwebs, I have seen mention of a "Magic Ring" to start crochet with. I have seen it mentioned but could find no instructions on how to make it.

It's like you have to belong to some secret order of mystic crocheters in order to learn the "Magic Ring".

Anywho, I was searching for something else, and there it was!! The instructions on how to do a magic ring.

Very cool I might add and easier than trying to squeeze 26 sc into a 4 sc ring. Im going to try it on my next project.

The Magic Ring

Still teaching this old dog new tricks....


Searching around the internet for inspiration and ideas and ran across this vintage pattern. 

Its a cute little hat and I'm even considering making it...but the thing that caught my eye was the first instruction:

1. Wind the thread ten times around a large lead-pencil, slip off and fill closely with doubles, 24 in all, join.

What a great way to start a circle!! I have never seen this before. It would give it a little thicker foundation for your motif. I'm definitely going to try this.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

So What's the Deal??



So what is the deal with covering things in crochet?

Is it supposed to be a statement of some kind? Or is it just a "because I could" king of thing?

The first time I saw one of these I thought "ok, thats cool".

But now I see them all over the internet. And the things getting covered are getting odder and odder. We all know what happens when crochet gets wet!

And the stop signs and trees that are getting covered are ok, but someone is going to come along and cut it off so what was the point??

Leave your comments below.

Ravelry Coupon!!

Everyone likes a deal right? If you buy 2 patterns from my Ravelry Shop you get 1 pattern OF YOUR CHOICE FOR FREE!! Just choose 3 patterns from my pattern shop and the lesser of the 3 will be FREE!

This coupon is only good on Ravelry.

It can be used multiple times!! Exp 4/14

Ravelry Shop

Friday, April 5, 2013

Free Edging or Bookmark Pattern Up on Ravelry.



The instruction packet for this pattern can be found on Ravelry.

If you have not tried increasing and decreasing in filet crochet yet, this is a good beginners first pattern.

Give it a try!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

How much experience do you have with filet crochet?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Holiday - ArtFire.comFind Gifts on ArtFire

Thursday, March 28, 2013

So......

My adventures in filet crochet have got me thinking about all things crochet. Specifically, a bigger handle for my teeny tiny #7 steel crochet hook. I have been seeing the polymer clay crochet hook handles and have been contemplating trying those.

Let's face it, I'm not getting any younger and my hands really complain about holding on to the tiny #7 steel hook that I use to filet crochet with. So I've been looking for a way to make a bigger handle so I can hold on to it and not stress out my hand so much.

I found this at JoAnn's:



Nice idea but....I could not get the hang of it to save my life! I tried, I really really wanted it to work. I felt like I had 10 thumbs, I kept dropping stitches, it was a mess.

I have seen the beautiful polymer clay crochet hook handles around the nets and they are very beautiful but the last thing I need right now is to be buying supplies for a whole new craft venture, not to mention the time it would take away from my designing and crocheting (but don't think for a minute that I will forget this little gem of an idea, its not totally off the drawing board)

So in my search around Googleland, I ran across this idea:


Yep, it's exactly what it looks like. MY CROCHET HOOK INSIDE A PEN!!! When I saw the pictures, I was, to say it mildly, very skeptical.  I thought, no way! Well, of course I had a pen laying on my desk so I took it apart and slid my hook inside, put the cap back on and BAM! I have a new handle for my crochet hook.

It's just big enough to fit comfortably in my hand, has a rubber grip on it and it's very light. I tried a row of crochet on the project I am currently working on, and it works like a charm!

If you're anything like me, I love pens. I mean I LOVE pens. I collect them. It's a shameless habit, but what can I say. Anyway, the prettier ones I save even when they run out of ink. The hamster on the wheel in my head is working over time.......    


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Filet Crochet PRINT BOOK Now Available!!

I can now offer my filet crochet Western Themes book as a printed book! Its in my Etsy Shop, check it out!

It is 11 pages, printed both sides of the paper and in COLOR! It includes images of what the finished projects could look like, 9 patterns, a page of blank graph paper, and tutorials on doing 3dc mesh and 4dc mesh. It has a clear plastic front cover and back cover and a sturdy plastic binder. It will be mailed out 1st class postage with delivery confirmation in a 9x12 clasp envelope.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New patterns up...

I started a series of baby bibs. Not sure if I'm going to make a book out of these or not. This first one I did Row-by-Row instructions for it. That is a process that takes a long, long, time to do but people seem to like them.



Baptism Bib in Etsy

Messing around in my graphics program...


Thursday, March 21, 2013

NOW AVAILABLE: Custom step-by-step instructions for my patterns.



I can now do custom instructions--made to order--for most of my patterns.

Unfortunately, the only place this is available is in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New patterns up in the stores!!

Whew, its been a productive day. I've uploaded 8 new patterns in my shops today!!

I've started a new series of stained glass patterns. I'm very excited about these and I think they are coming out beautiful.

Check em out!

As always they can be found at:

Etsy
Ravelry



Patterns now available in one PDF!

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks??

Ive learned how to merge my PDF's into one so now instead of downloading multiple files when you buy one of my patterns, you will get ONE download with all the files combined.


Pretty cool, right?



Newest chart up in the shops...Lil Cowpoke


This chart measures 144 blocks wide by 111 blocks high

And can be found at:

Etsy
Ravelry
Craftsy






New pattern up in the shops!



You can find it and all my other patterns here:

Ravelry
Etsy
and my newest store Craftsy

And as with all my patterns it's just $5.00!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Complete Alphabet Motif for the Price of 1

Hey everyone,

In the interest of saving space in both my Ravelry and Etsy stores, I have decided to combine my Alphabet Motif patterns in to one PDF download.

The best part is, ITS STILL JUST $5.00!

So if you wanted to get a couple of Alphabet Letters Motif and did not want to buy them separately, now you can get the complete file for $5.00

You can find them at my Ravelry Store or at my Etsy Store

As always.........Happy Stitching!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gauge Swatches

When looking at filet crochet patterns, I have trouble imagining how big the finished piece might be. I know that I crochet loosely and I already use a hook 1 size smaller than the pattern calls for, but I still have trouble picturing how big the finished piece might be. So I came up with this idea.

Make a gauge swatch book!

  1. Crochet a 10 x 10 block swatch.
  2. Use double sided tape, and tape it to a piece of card stock.
  3. Write down, under each swatch, pertinent information. Like the hook you used, the yarn size and what medium you used ie: 3 dc mesh or 4 dc mesh.
  4. Make swatches for each medium and needle that you work with. Different size yarns, threads and hooks.
  5. Put your swatch sheets in a clear sheet protector and even put them in a binder.

The next time you are perusing patterns, pull out your gauge swatches so you will have an idea of the size your finished project might be!



Monday, February 25, 2013

Tips I've learned while doing Filet Crochet

Here I will post little tips and tricks that I have learned while doing filet crochet. Check back often as I will add snippets and tidbits as the mood strikes me and learn from my mistakes!

Tip 1: COUNT EVERY STITCH!!! Ok, sorry for yelling, but that is the first thing I learned while doing filet crochet. As I progressed through my pattern, I got cocky and thought that I did not need to count each and every stitch and that I could just use the row below to pinpoint where my  next stitch would go. BIG MISTAKE! About 3 rows later I realized that I had made a mistake and had to rip out like 5 rows and redo them. Ugh.

Tip 2: When doing the math for solid blocks in 3dc mesh, you will ALWAYS have an odd number. If you don't you have miscounted.

Tip 3: If your last stitch ends in a chain space, you have counted wrong. You will ALWAYS end in a double crochet.

New Patterns uploaded in Ravelry Store!!




I have opened a pattern store at www.ravelry.com

How much is it worth?



So the big debate with handmade crafts is always, How much do I charge?

Personally, I don't do crafts to make money. I do it because I love it and because it keeps me sane. Over the last 30+ years of crafting, I have made very little money doing what I do. I usually end up giving it away. I think the egotist in me comes out when I here someone gush over something that I made, my first response is "Here, you can have it".

On the flip side of that, I do NOT like taking commissions for items. I did beading for about 10 years. A lady asked me to make her a beaded necklace. We picked out a pattern that she liked and when I asked her what color she wanted she said purple. Well, as with most things, in beading there are MANY different colors of purple. So I asked her to pick out the purple she wanted and she told me that she would leave that up to me since I was the "artist". So after working many hours designing and making this necklace for her, she comes in to pick it up and the first words out of her mouth were "can you make it in a darker purple?"Um....Yeah.....No.... I ended up selling it to someone else who was thrilled with it. Hence the reason why I do NOT take commissions.

I get that we invest a lot of time and money into our projects but I learned a long time ago that you will never get out of your project what YOU think its worth.

I hate going to craft shows and seeing the outrageous prices people put on their items. Its especially hard BEING a crafter and knowing just how much it costs to make those items. When I know that it costs $3.00 to make an item and the person is selling it for $30.00, just drives me nuts. I understand it, but it still drives me nuts. I would rather sell my items and have money to buy more supplies, than unpack and set up, sit around a craft show for 8 hours, then pack it all up and take it home, just to store it in boxes until the next show.

Just for fun, I decided to see what my current project would cost in terms of time. I am doing a filet crochet wall hanging that is 122 blocks wide by 162 blocks high. If you know anything about filet crochet, this is going to be huge! It could probably be used as a curtain on a small window.

Anyway, I used the stopwatch on my cell phone and timed myself doing one row. I then multiplied that by how many rows, divided that by 60 and then multiplied that by $8.50.

It looks like this: 12.25 minutes per row x 162 rows=1984.5 minutes for the whole project.
1984 / 60=33 hours x $8.50(roughly minimum wage)=$280.50 And this does not account for the supplies, going to the store, designing a pattern etc.....

$280.50!!! Would anyone ever pay that much for my project?? It would be wonderful if they did, but I am realistic enough to know that it will never happen. If I were to sell this project I would probably ask $80-$100 and even I think that is steep. I am actually making this as a gift for my cousin, so yet again I will be giving one of my creations away.

I don't know about you, but I have very little to show for my 30+ years of crafting. I don't have the room to keep everything I make and things would just get dusty around my house anyway. So over the years all the projects that I have made have either been given away or (a very small few) have been sold. Now with the age of digital photography and cell phone camera's I am able to take pictures of my projects for posterity. But it saddens me to think of all the beautiful things I have made over the years that I have no proof of now.

Hang on a sec while I blow my nose......

Ok, so the morale to this story is to not make things for monetary gain. Make them because you love it, its creative, it keeps you sane and because you are a good person. Give them away as gifts, donate them to charities or churches for raffles. If you sell something, GREAT, go buy more materials to make something else. But don't let your beautiful projects sit in closets or get covered in dust because you are too proud of your creations.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

3 dc starting chain

To figure the starting chain for a 3 dc filet mesh with a solid first block:
#blocks x 2=_____+ 4=_____
The plus 4 stands for the 1 extra dc and the chain 3 to turn. Crochet in the 5th chain from hook.


To figure the starting chain for a 3 dc filet mesh with an open first block:
#blocks x 2=____+ 4=____
The plus 4 stands for the turning ch 3 and the ch 1 for the space. Crochet in the 6th chain from the hook.

I know this is contrary to many directions that you see on the interwebs. But through trial and error and many, many, MANY test swatches, this formula is what works for me.