Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Toddler Dress Revealed

First, here is the sneak peek:
and this is the finished toddler sized dress in the new issue of Crochet Today Magazine. and, it's ON THE COVER!!! WooHoo! When the website updates, I'll post the link.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Abundance vs Emptiness

Sometimes I wonder, "What happens if I run out of ideas?" I think that worrying about running out of ideas makes you run out of ideas, kinda like a self-fulfilling prophecy. On the other hand, trusting that you will never run out of ideas can be a self-fulfilling prophecy that you'll never run out of ideas. Nothing squashes my creativity like the fear of not having any creativity.

I'm thinking about this because for a week in February and now a week in March, I have had huge gluts of creative energy and I wonder when these happen if I will "run out" of creativity sooner, if I will somehow 'empty' myself of creativity, leaving a void where all the already used ideas just spin around and around with nothing new coming out.

Do you see how my mind spins?

But never fear! I have decided that I can never run out of creativity because there isn't a 'limited supply' of creativity in the world (or in me). It's possible that if I am constantly taking in new ideas/images/sounds/textures that my store of creativity will always be replenished.

People will often say things like, "How many ways can there possibly be to make a granny square?" and I've decided the answer is something like, "How many notes are there in music? 7? ... and how many songs are there in the world?"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Giveaway Winners!

Whew! What a fun and busy week!

Monday's Winner of the Ecru Lion Brand Suede is.... KBCrochet!

Tuesday's Winner of the Magenta Lion Brand Suede is ... Lauria!

Wednesday's Winner of the Moda Dea Baby Talk in Lime is.... Nova 0437!

Thursday's Winner of the KnitPicks Wool is .... Gramma Carol!

And Friday's winner is ME for having so many great readers! Thanks all! I'm looking forward to getting back to writing more on the blog. Happy National Crochet Month everyone!

Above is a quick bucket had I made out of Garnet Suede. It's the only photo that I could think of that is even remotely related to today's post!

So, you four winners need to email me at Ellen at sign GoCrochet dot com
with your mailing address and the yarns will go out next week! Whoo Hoo!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Giveaway!

Never fear my friends! yes, indeed Blogger had some hiccups and I didn't get any comments for a few hours, then I checked a different page and there were a whole bunch! So, I think I'm getting them all. I'll wait until tomorrow before I pull a name, just in case some of the comments are delayed in arriving to my box. I'll know when they were posted by their time stamp.

:) So exciting that you all are here!

Thursday Giveaway!

4 hanks of Knitpicks in Black/purple/red! Gossamer, 100% Merino Wool in "Red Hat"

Leave a comment on THIS post, by Thursday night (tonight) at midnight Eastern Time and you'll be entered in a drawing to win. Winners will be announced on Friday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Giveaway!

Today, I'm giving away 3 balls of Moda Dea Baby Talk yarn in this lime green color! To win, you need to leave a comment on THIS post by midnight tonight (Wednesday) Eastern time. Has there ever been a pattern that you have made over and over again? What was it?

On Friday, I'm going to pull all the winners and post them. The winners will need to email me back with their mailing address. I'll ship the yarns out next week!

But... I'm too impatient to wait until Friday to do Monday's winners.
The Winner of Monday's Ecru Lion Brand Suede is: KBCROCHET!

I'll announce them again on Friday, but if you want to send me your mailing address at Ellen AT sign, GoCrochet dot com, I'll pack it up to ship next week with the other winners!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Giveaway

Today, I'm giving away 3 balls of Lion Brand Suede yarn in this magenta color! To win, you need to leave a comment on THIS post by midnight tonight (Tuesday) Eastern time. Maybe you could tell me your current favorite yarn!

On Friday, I'm going to pull all the winners and post them. The winners will need to email me back with their mailing address. I'll ship the yarns out next week!

Monday, March 23, 2009

This is so fun!

Thanks all for the cute jokes. Chief is trying to learn them to share with Chickee when she gets home. Keep the jokes and comments coming! This is so much fun, I might have to add a special yarn giveaway for Friday... I'll go look in my stash...

Also! Thanks to my new FOLLOWERS!!! Hi there! Thanks for joining us!

Monday Giveaway!

Today, I'm giving away 3 balls of Lion Brand Suede yarn in this ecru color! To win, you need to leave a comment on THIS post by midnight tonight (Monday) Eastern time. You don't have to say anything funny or amusing, all comments will be equal, but if you have any quick clean jokes I can share with the kids, that would be fun!

On Friday, I'm going to pull all the winners and post them. The winners will need to email me back with their mailing address. I'll ship the yarns out next week!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sneak Peek and Giveaway

Here's a sneak peek for you!

The yarn giveaway in honor of National Crochet Month is going to happen Monday -Thursday of this coming week. Each day I will post a photo of the yarn I'm giving away. If you want it, leave a comment on that days post by midnight Eastern that same day. I'll do this 4 days in a row. On Friday, I'll pull the winning names and post them. You'll have to email me back with your mailing address. All winning items will be shipped out the following week.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Horizon Throw Revealed!

Looks like this is to be the week of Reveals! I must have forgotten to do a sneak peek for this one! It's in the new issue of Crochet! Magazine, May 2009.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Hey, let's do a giveaway on Monday. I'm going to give away some yarn.

Meditation Mask revealed!

Here's the sneak peek...
The new issue of Crochet! Magazine is out! This funky freeform project is sure to cause some conversation! Find this scrumble project in the May 2009 issue.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I won!.... did I tell you I won?

My award has arrived! Very cool. Thank you.

Fair Isle Messenger Bag Revealed!

This Tapestry style bag is made out of Elsebeth Lavold, Hempathy
for the new UK crochet magazine, Inside Crochet, published by KALMedia who also publishes Yarn Forward magazine. In the US, the magazine is available at Borders and Barnes & Nobles.

I also made this bag a little bigger in Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, and my laptop fits in it! This one is MINE to keep!
This is the project that helped me learn left handed crochet!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day! and I am Thrilled

I can't believe it, but I WON a Flamie from the Crochet Liberation Front for the 'Best Designer of Home Decor'.

It is such a great time for crochet. The fibers are so great, the consumers are ready for our most creative and innovative ideas. I think of all the men and women crochet designers of the past (whether they knew they were designers or they thought they were just making up patterns for fun) and I think of how they used to create in a vacuum, without recognition, without feedback, without the appreciation of peers. Our predecessors created crochet for their homes and their loved ones for the joy of making something delightful and functional at the same time.

With the internet, CGOA, Crochetville, Ravelry, and other crochet communities, the designers get to hear the reaction of the consumers and the opinions of other designers. I know many crochet aficionadoes and crochet designers voted for the Flamies, so I feel that I have been voted for by some of the most intelligent and creative people on the planet. Thank you for the honor of your vote.

Thank you to Laurie Wheeler, the CLF "fearless leader" who organized this event. Laurie, you make things happen! Thank you to Fignations for the awesome graphic "trophy" that I will proudly display. Thank you to Mary Beth Temple at Getting Loopy for hosting the event. Thank you. Thank you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone. Charlie doesn't look too happy about his St. Patrick's Day attire, does he? I think he's afraid to move!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Still Waters Shrug Revealed

From the new issue of Interweave Crochet comes....

Here's the Sneak Peek again...

This model is TINY. I'm not a huge person and this shrug was much tighter on me.
I love alpaca yarn.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Amazing Grace Wrap Revealed

It's the Amazing Grace Wrap in the new Interweave Crochet, Spring 2009. Follow the link to see the entire preview. This is made of SouthWest Trading Company, Amaizing Corn yarn. This, by the way, is the yarn you should NOT iron. Remember?

I can't find the sneak peek photo, but here is the link to the post where the sneak peek originally was published Sneak Peek photo. I designed this to be a sexy robe, but perhaps it was a little too risque' to style it that way! Monday, another reveal!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wedding Cake Safe Pattern

Have I ever shown you this? It was in one of the Accord-Crochet Pattern-A-Day calendars. 2006? I think. Anyway, I've been going through old patterns and thought some of you might like this one. I'm thinking about making the PDF available. It is made of Red Heart LusterSheen.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fashion Doll Backpack Revealed

What every little girl needs! A backpack to tote her Barbie Dolls in! This drawstring comfortably carries two Barbies (because just one is never enough) with room for various changes of clothing and shoes and purses. The colorwork makes a dense pattern that Barbie's shoes won't fall through. The PDF is now available for $4.00. Made in Caron Simply Soft Brites!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quotes for Success

Success "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing" From the Motivations Calendar

So many times the quotes are so sickeningly sweet and idealized that it's hard to trust them. But one's about your effort being a huge part of your success, those are ok. The ones like, "if you dream it, you can achieve it", yes, that's nice but, it takes more than a dream. Success in anything takes hard work and trial and error, and learning. I am a very practical person. Wishing for something doesn't make it happen, work makes it happen. It's really great though, when the work is also fun. That's when it's serendipitous. (Can you believe I spelled that right on the first try?

I'm very close to offering another pattern for sale... one for all the little girls in your life who love Barbie Dolls. Too bad I didn't have it ready in time for her Birthday (yesterday?).

Chickee and I call this the 'big-eyed bunny'. He was part of the Thanksgiving Day parade/petting zoo last year.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Felted Horizon Tote Revealed

This is a big bag I designed probably close to 2 years ago, but have never shared. I didn't even think of it when we have been talking about the CAL Huge Tote. Anyway, I made the bottom bag photo first, felted the bag, and sewed the bamboo handles on after felting. But then I decided that the handles were too small for the size of the bag, so I made a strap (above), felted the strap, cut off the bamboo handles and sewed on the felted strap. This bag can be felted as shown, or not. If it's not felted, it would be somewhat hole-y. It is a shell type stitch with my own FPdc spin on it. I'll have to get the pre-felting measurements out for you. You may be able to "line" the unfelted (or felted) bag with an inexpensive store-bought canvas tote bag. What do you think of this pattern for the CAL? I'll do a poll. On the poll, this one will be called "Horizon Tote" and the green/purple one that I've been working on is the "Huge purple tote".

This bag was 20" x 18" x 8" before felting; 14" x 13" x 5" after felting. It took 15 skeins of Caron Felt-it (93 yds each) in color "Wildflowers". Obviously, if you choose not to felt, you can choose any yarn you'd like. I'd also recommend going down a few hook sizes so that the fabric is more dense and would probably end up smaller than the 20" x 18" x 8".

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chief's Birdhouse

Did I show you this already or did I just think about showing you this? This is the birdhouse that Chief and Captain made together last week. Chief is very excited about it and they mounted it on a tree yesterday. We are looking forward to some new winged neighbors to move in!

Not much news I can share today, a shipment of yarn arrived today, there's some baby blue, and some pale yellow, and some white. I shipped two completed items out this morning. I've changed my mind about a dozen times on the HUGE tote, and I remembered another huge tote pattern that I have almost ready, already, that is a little different. So maybe I'll offer them both and let you choose.

I haven't worked on the First Communion Dress in a few days because I've been working so hard on the items I sent out this morning.

I'm so happy it's SUNNY! Happy Day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tracy's Pout Bag

You've GOT to see this! Tracy G. stitched up a Pout bag for me and look what she did! She added little beads to the centers of the flowers. Genius! Great job Tracy! And to celebrate, the pattern is NOW available as a PDF pattern download. See the side bar for the "Buy Now" button. It is $4.00.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sewing a button

Ah, the more mundane tasks of life sometimes creep into my schedule. By mundane, I mean anything that is not crochet! Despite my distract-ibility yesterday I managed to refine one pattern and got another pattern transferred from my notes onto the computer. I keep "template" instruction files for every company I work with so that I can have a better chance of plugging in the info into the right format for the right company. When I don't know where a pattern is going or I'm going to self-publish, I choose the template that I like the best. (Now, I can't tell you which one, but I use it frequently).

Today, I'm going to work on that pattern I transferred from my notes and put into the computer and try and get that pattern refined. It will likely take a day or two. If I get bored/frustrated or need a break, I'm going to work on the HUGE tote.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Design Journey: Chickee's Dress

Can you see the sash at the waist? It is attached on the front only and then it ties in the back. I'm getting more and more happy as it is getting closer to done! Yes, at some point, I'd like to make this pattern available. :) All done but the details!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pout Bag Revealed

Here's the original Sneak peek,
And here's the bag! Felted, out of Caron Felt-It, this pattern is going to be available as a PDF as soon as my helper gives the pattern a once-over. I call it the "Pout Bag" because it is kind of a tear-drop shape, but it's too cute to be sad, so, it's just a 'pout'. I found the big 5" steel rings at Hobby Lobby.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When the tech editor emails...

A tech editor is a person, usually a contracted free-lance person, who is hired by the magazine or yarn company to comb through the written pattern and correct it. They look for math errors, they look for typos, they look for formatting problems. They also have to be experts in crochet so that they can 'visualize' if what you have written matches what you have stitched. They also have to understand all the grading nuances of garments so that each size will work with the instructions. This is a difficult, tedious, time-consuming job (I would think).

When the tech editor emails... I admit that my heart stops. I ask myself if I really want to open it. I start chewing my fingernails in fear, for when the tech editor emails, it's not usually good news. Matter-of-fact, it's very likely bad news. Your pattern is flawed, so flawed that she (usually it's a she) can't figure it out without asking you some questions. Questions about a pattern that you likely haven't thought about in a few to several months. It's the same feeling as getting called into the Principal's office. You don't know why you were summoned, but you figure it can't be good.

This is what you do... take a deep breath, drop any bad attitude you might have, open the email immediately. Read the email carefully, twice. Reply back immediately that you are "on it" and that you will reply back with a solution/answer/your thoughts by such and such a time. Thank the tech editor profusely for giving you the opportunity to "make it right", as this tech editor is likely saving your __ and your reputation.

Drop everything else. Run and get your carefully filed notes and any swatches you have left of the project including any left over yarn and the proper hook and a calculator. Figure out the solution and respond back to the tech editor with the correct answer by the time you said you would reply. If you can't figure out what you did, tell the truth, but be prepared to spend some time figuring it out further. Multiple emails may have to be sent back and forth, close up photos with notes on them might be required.

Moral of the story:
1. do everything in your power to get it right the first time.
2. If the tech editor emails, do everything in your power to help her, quickly.
3. Be very gracious and grateful. Do not bite the hand that feeds you. The tech editor is doing her job and making you and your pattern look better.

Now, it's possible for tech editors to make mistakes, but overall tech editors make the crochet world a better place.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Design Journey: Chickee's Dress

Here's the First Communion Dress at about the half-way point. I plan on putting on a sash or tie, the skirt needs about 12" more. You may be able to tell that the bottom 3" of the skirt in the photo, the fabric has become more open. I'm working on a shrug in the same stitch pattern as the skirt. I think that I'm going to embroider (in white) some lazy daisy type flowers just above the waistband. I haven't decided if I'm going to add a cap sleeve or not.

Here we are in MARCH! National Crochet Month! Time is flying. I didn't get to crochet at all this weekend...not at all! Busy, Busy, Busy. If you are the praying type, our family could use some prayers this week, especially Thursday, as one of our extended family is going to begin chemotherapy on Thursday. If you are the "good vibes" type, we're not picky, we'd appreciate 'good vibes' sent our way too!