Friday, February 5, 2016

A Fun Free Crochet Hearts Pattern!

This is a fun idea to dress up a cardigan or blouse! Crocheting around elastic cord makes the center of the heart adjustable, so that you can simply slip it over a button. It is a great way to give a new look to something you already have in your wardrobe. They are easy to take on and off, so you can make one set to wear on different garments.

You can use different yarn weights to create different size hearts using the same instructions. You can also use two or three colors if you change colors in the rounds. If you can find elastic cord in the same color as the thread or yarn you are using, that would be ideal!

Be festive for Valentines day, or for any day of the year! If you decide to make some, don't forget to post photos to the project page on Ravelry. I would love to see how you use them!

The Sweetheart Button Frames pattern is now available as a free download on Ravelry.

Two Color Version in Sportweight Yarn

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Try Out A Pattern From Crocheting Clothes Kids Love!

I just noticed that my Hopscotch Legwarmers pattern from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love, is available on the Craft Foxes Website. Our publisher, Creative Publishing International, graciously gave them permission to post this pattern. So, if you would like to try out a pattern from the book, this is a fun one! They are shaped just right to fold over nicely and and the ribbed effect of the stitching helps them to fit a range of sizes. They are easy to make larger or smaller because they are crocheted lengthwise from top to bottom. The pom poms are my favorite finishing touch. If you have never made multi-colored pom poms, you must try it, they are thrilling to make! The yarn I used for these leg warmers, Cascade Yarn's "Pacific", is so perfect for this project. It is soft and has a little sheen to it that makes gorgeous pom poms. If you make these leg warmers, we would absolutely love to see photos of your projects on Ravelry. What colors would you choose to make them in???

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Wish List of Yarn Craft Notions and Gadgets for 2016!

Instagram is my favorite form of social media, as I discover so many new and wonderful things there. Just when you think you have enough tools and gadgets! 

Recently I came across a post about glass yarn darning needles by Moving Mud. I was so intrigued I found their website, which includes even more wonderful things such as cable needles for knitting, knitting needles, and these fun stitch markers:

I am also a big fan of Clover products! Always so clever, and such good quality! I have two items on my wish list from them this year. The first is this handy yarn needle threader. I think it would be a  real time saver when working on a project with a lot of ends to weave in. I also love the way it looks, and it will fit nicely into the zippered pocket of my Athena's Elements crochet hook case!

The second item I am really excited about is their tassel maker. I usually just use a piece of cardboard, but this looks so much more efficient, and you can make tassels in 3 different sizes from 1 3/16"-2". There is also a large tassel maker that makes 5 larger sizes from 2 3/8"-4"!

Friday, January 8, 2016

My Latest Cross Stitch on Tunisian Crochet!

This is the second piece in my little Mini Masterpiece series of cross stitch on a Tunisian Crochet simple stitch background. You can see the first piece in my previous post. There is something therapeutic about working the simple stitch, and combined with a variegated yarn, it produces a beautiful fabric!

After crocheting the background I decided on the tree theme. I loved the yarn and was anxious to start stitching, so I didn't take the time to decide what would be stitched on the background. I let the finished crochet fabric do the talking! 

After I decided on the tree I got to work stitching the trunk:

Then I decided how to make the foliage of the tree. I had some lovely soft chenille in my yarn stash, so I combined it with a coordinating wool to make different sized crocheted circles. My original idea was to place a circle at the top of each branch, like a Bonsai tree, but it looked a little odd. I  like how they look layered on top of each other much better. It gives it more of a 3D effect, and I love this mix of textures in the different types of yarn. I think the mix of textures emulates nature.

I am really enjoying stitching these Tunisian pieces, and I think there will be more to come in 2016!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wrapping Up 2015 In My Crochet World!

I can't believe that this year is coming to a close! It has been a really creative year for my crochet design work, and creating new pieces for our eWoodStory line. I so happy to be doing more mixed media work than ever before, and combining techniques such as weaving, embroidery, and cross stitch with my crochet work. The photo above highlights some of my work from this year.

I was fortunate to be able to attend this year's Knit and Crochet Show in San Diego. It was my second conference, and I enjoyed it even more than the first! I was able to spend more time with the online friends I met the year before, and I was able to meet even more people that I had previously only known online. The crochet world is truly full of wonderful people. I really hope that I will have the chance to attend more conferences in the near future!

In 2016 I will be working on some new exciting things to add to the eWoodStory line, as well as creating more crochet designs. My experience in the crochet and fiber arts industry has opened up some very interesting doors recently, and I look forward to being able to share my new adventures with you! 

May 2016, be happy, healthy, productive, creative, and prosperous for all! Happy New Year to you and your families!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Crochet Design Aesthetic

In a previous post, I began indirectly talking about my design aesthetic. Knowing your design aesthetic is a very important part of being a designer. I believe that sometimes people who follow your design work often can tell you what makes one of your designs uniquely yours, even before you can yourself! Often, a significant amount of designs need to be in your portfolio before your aesthetic becomes apparent.

I have had several people tell me that they knew a design was mine in magazines, even before they knew I had designed it! This makes me very happy. It reassures me that I do have a recognizable style, even though I feel I can't always put my finger on what that style is. I do know that there are certain design elements/ details that I like to include in my work.

In my last post, I mentioned that chain links have been a popular theme in my work. That got me thinking about what other themes/ techniques I often use in my work.

I love to mix techniques, and embroidery embellishment often finishes off my designs. My all time favorite embroidery stitch is the Lazy Daisy. It is the stitch I most often use to embellish my designs.

I put together a collage of some of my designs that feature this stitch.

Beginning from the top row, from left to right:

Middle row, from left to right:

Bottom row, from left to right:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Crochet Tool Organization!

While attending the Knit and Crochet Show this past summer in San Diego, I discovered Athena's Elements. It is a great company that sells ergonomic crochet hooks, and crochet hook cases, as well as complete crochet hook kits.

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Grace Smith, the genuine and delightful owner of the company. She told me about how the cases were specially designed with a crocheter's specific needs in mind, and that design decisions for new additions to her line were heavily based on feedback she receives from customers. She is committed to customer satisfaction, which is apparent in the thoughtful note that is enclosed with her products:

Her gorgeous fabric crochet hook cases caught my eye right away.  The crochet hook case I have been using is looking a little tired. I was ready for an upgrade! I have been saving the new case because I have just been saving and admiring it. Today I decided was the day I should finally move into it! I don't know why I waited so long! I am so thrilled with it! Since buying my set of crochet hooks, I have acquired a 2mm, and a 10.5mm hook, and I didn't have space in the original case. I am ecstatic that there are enough spaces in the Athena's Elements case, to hold them all! There is also a large space between the hook slots that is perfect for scissors and a ruler. Thank you to Laurinda Reddig for the great wooden ruler, that now goes everywhere with me! I keep stitch markers and yarn/tapestry needles in the small zippered pouch. The case closes very easily with the generous fabric loop.

So, if you are in the market for high quailty, reasonably priced crochet hooks, and/or a case, Check Athena's Elements out on Amazon and Facebook. At the moment, they are doing a giveaway of a Deluxe Crochet Kit and yarns. Enter to win here.

The lovely owner, Grace Smith, in her booth
I can't wait to take my new case out and about with me and show it off!