Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ridiculous Workspace

Wow, I think I need to spend a couple of weeks organizing. It's embarrassing, I'm even embarrassed when I'm just sitting in this trying to work.

I've reached the conclusion (like lots of people who write articles in magazines) that a messy workspace keeps me from getting anything done. A dedicated room would be nice, but I hope to show some improvement in making my corner of the kitchen work for me. If someone renting a micro apartment which totals 150 square feet can make things work, so can I.

I'm going to start by setting modest boring and responsible goals (like keeping up with listings and communicating), then I'll add back in the fun creative tasks, as they get untangled. It's way too much, I'm living proof that too many choices paralyze a person!

I hope to make my next two posts about two patterns which are almost written!!

Check out my pattern store at or the kindle pattern ebooks I offer on Amazon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beautiful long crochet stitch

I'll have to do a post on a lovely afghan crochet pattern that a sweet elderly lady gave to me perhaps thirty years ago. An element included has been one which has stuck with me is what I'm going to describe in a word or two.

You can see the stitch in my little birdie pattern above (it's on my etsy pattern store ) if you're interested. The crochet stitch which covers the body of the little bird with those threads reaching down into the middle is what I call a "long single crochet" stitch, a single crochet stitch in which you insert your hook NOT into the top of the stitch right below it, but INSTEAD reach your hook way down into a previous round and, adjusting the tension of your working thread to accomodate this extra bulk, finish up your single crochet as usual (yarning over etc). Here's my youtube video showing how this is done.

When you're working in thread, it seems especially fun, transforming nubby little rows of knotty looking stitches into a more baskety, thready-looking textile. Yay! 

My dad burst out laughing when he saw this little bird, he said it looked like a pair of lips. So please don't repeat that to me, I much prefer the little bird interpretation, ha!

Check out my patterns on my etsy pattern store
OR the same patterns on Amazon, ready to download on your Kindle!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Crochet Pattern Fall Maple Leaf Garland, simple and beautiful!

I'm going to give away the basics of this pattern (scroll below), but I finally finished My New Maple Leaf Garland pattern, and am both listing it as its own pattern (on sale for around $2) and also including it as an extra in my Fall Leaf Pattern Set, which is a collection of three simple but graceful leaf applique patterns and now TWO garland or scarfette patterns, one an ivy or simple leaf motif, and one this little maple leaf garland, worked in a long interconnected chain. The pattern comes in pdf format, with a key to abbreviations, materials list, a helpful visual diagram, and of course the instructions, with lots of step-by-step photos. As always, this and every pattern I sell comes with the understanding that you have my explicit permission to sell items made from this design, but do not sell the photos and text of the pattern itself, as it's my own copyrighted design.

I'm trying, in the spirit of sharing (!)  to post the general idea of this pattern, so that those who wish can create it on their own, and those who need the diagram and more detailed instructions can buy it with the first link above. Read on below for the how-to, in prose instead of standard crochet instructions (ha!)

Here's the concept, for those of you who don't need to buy a pattern:
Form a circle of 12 dc, then on the second round, begin three triangular leaf tips, each which are formed on two of the base dc's from round 1, each formed of (sc, dc, picot, dc, sc) --in the case of the smaller leaf tip on the left and right or (sc, dc, tc, picot, tc, dc, sc), --in the case of the larger leaf tip at the top. When you've finished those three leaf tips, continue on to slip stitch until you reach the bottom center of the leaf. At that point, ch to a desired length, from a few chains for a tight, leaf packed garland, to 20 or 30 chains for a garland with more space between leaves. Then start on your next leaf and carry on as long as you wish!!

I have my own particular way of inserting a decorative stitch which looks like a vein in the leaves, and my own way of making the leaves stay flat on the chain and also sit at varying angles, but if you want those secrets, you'll need to buy the pattern! I'm such a stinka!! (As Bugs Bunny used to say).

I love this Maple Leaf Garland for home decor in particular, it's a wonderful, homey and humble alternative to those fru fru silk leaf arrangements that you put on your table or around dishes. And when you use it to create a scarfette, it's nice to work it in either crochet thread (no. 3) OR baby thread and a size D hook, inserting 20 chains in between leaf motifs instead of 5. I need to add a picture of this concept, it's mentioned in the pattern, but not pictured.

I want to cruise etsy and have fun with crochet today, but might have to paint and get ready for Oil Landscape class that I teach tomorrow. Not enough time!!!

Here's hoping your crochet projects bring you happiness and calm those restless hands!

------- <3  <3  <3

You guys, check out any and all of the following!!! This new pattern is on the etsy pattern store, but hasn't made it to ravelry or Kindle yet.
my etsy pattern store
my facebook page
my ravelry pattern store

If you'd like to see my kindle ebook version of lots of my patterns for sale on Amazon,

Thanks for being my kind friends and customers!!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Free Simple Leaf Crochet Pattern - The Leaves are Falling Soon!

I thought I'd post a link to my super easy "Simple Leaf" pattern , as well as the crochet diagram.

I really like designing leaves that are based on a double crochet circle! For some reason, they look more balanced and full than a design based on a chain foundation. I'm really proud of my Maple Leaves and Ivy garland that are bundled with this Simple Leaf in my Fall Collection which is $5.50 on Etsy (it's a pdf download that I email to you.) But....FOR NOW, the simple leaf part of the set is yours with my compliments. (In case you missed it, the link to the free pdf is way up at the top of this post.)

I'm noodling out another maple leaf based garland which is even more fun and has a pretty decorative stitch in it, check back later here and on my etsy crochet pattern store to see it when I get it done!

I'm going to have to show you guys the paper mache  cow skull which has been taking up all of my time for the last week! Our drama department at West Forsyth is putting on "Into the Woods" and my questionable paper mache skills have been put to the test. But I think it's really cool, I'm kind of proud of those results too. However, I'm paying a price at home; now my kids and husband are labeling me officially "creepy", what with cow skulls (a real one, complete with jaw!), dead plants, bunches of sticks passed off as floral arrangements, and as my daughter put it, a creepy "basement where someone could live for a month and we'd never know it." Honestly, I'm feeling that you have to pay a price for your art, and if they think I'm creepy, so be it. Hah!

Show me what you've been working on, and as always, let me know if you're willing to test my upcoming designs! I need a couple more people!

To see more of my original crochet design work, check out my Etsy Pattern Store or my Kindle- and Nook-friendly patterns on Amazon  or Barnes and Noble