Thursday, April 30, 2009

Granny's May Day Basket: A Free Pattern for You


I have always loved the idea of May Baskets; sweet little baskets filled with spring flowers that are meant to be hung on the door of friends and loved ones early on the first day of May as a pleasant surprise. But having lived in the country most of my life, with friends and loved ones several miles away, I have never had much of an opportunity to give them away. But today I am going to make up for all the missed May Day baskets in my past by giving all of you this sweet and easy little basket (at least the pattern for it).
If you know how to make granny squares, this will be a snap for you, and if you have never made a granny square, this is a good project to learn on.
You will need about 50 yards of the main color, and about 10 yards of the trim color. I am using Aunt Lydia's size 10 cotton, in Copper Mist and Cream, and a size 7 hook. Rnd 1: Ch 6, join with sl st in first ch to form a ring;
Ch 3, 2 dc in ring, ch 2; (3 dc, ch 2) 3 times in ring, join with sl st in top of ch-3. Rnd 2: Sl st into first ch-2 sp, (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, ch 1) in first ch sp; (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, ch 1) in each ch-2 sp around, join with sl st in top of ch-3.
Rnd 3: Sl st into first ch-2 sp, (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, ch 1) in first ch sp, (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch-1 sp, *(3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, ch 1) in next ch-2 sp, (3 dc, ch 1) in next ch-1 sp; repeat from * around, join.
Now, here is the easy way to do this; just remember that at the beginning of each round you are going to sl st across to the first ch-2 sp (first corner) and work (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, ch 1); this is the begining corner;
you will work a block of (3 dc, ch 1) in each ch-1 space,
and in each ch-2 space at the corners you will work a corner of (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, ch 1).
Work in this manner, starting with a beginning corner, working a block in each ch-1 space and a corner in each corner space (and joining at the end of each round) until you have 10 rounds completed. Fasten off. 10 Rounds completed. Fold the square diagonally. Join the accent color with a sc in the ch-2 sp at the bottom (in the corner space). Matching up the ch-1 sps on both sides, and working through both thicknesses as one, *ch 3, (sc, ch 3, sc) in next ch sp; repeat from * 6 more times. Now working in one side only, *ch 3, (sc, ch 3, sc) in next ch sp; repeat from * once more, then ch 3. In ch-2 sp at corner, work (sc, ch 3, sc, ch 5, sc, ch 3, sc)- I call this a fleur de lis picot- now work a ch 3, and continue to the work edging as established; (sc, ch 3, sc, ch 3) in each ch-1 space and (sc, ch 3, sc, ch 5, sc, ch 3, sc, ch 3) in each corner. When you get back around to the last sc that was worked through both thicknesses, join with a sl st in that sc, and fasten off. Weave an 18" piece of ribbon through the top of the basket and tie it in a bow. You can slip another piece of ribbon through the back of the bow for hanging if you want to. Add flowers as desired (I have used silk flowers, but I think fresh- from-the-garden posies would be so sweet!)
The finished basket is about 8" long, not counting the hanging ribbon.
This is a quick and easy project, perfect when you need a gift in a hurry. I can see them used as wedding decorations, given as a Mother's Day present, or as a cheerful gift for a shut in. I am going to hang mine on my bedpost.
It would also be cute made in Christmas colors and hung on a Christmas tree (filled with candy!)
And now, the legal stuff: This free pattern is copyrighted by BellaCrochet, 2009. Please do not copy or distribute it in any form. You may make this design for your own personal use, to give as gifts and to sell in quantities of less than 24. It is my gift to the readers of my blog; if you would like to share it with your friends, please direct them to this post.
The contest ends tonight; I have everything all boxed up and ready to go. I am so anxious to see who wins! I will announce the winner in the morning. Good luck!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My First Giveaway!


Hooray, the day we all have waited for is here at last! (Well, at least I have been waiting for it.)
I am having my very first giveaway! I am giving away a copy of my newest book published by DRG Publishing (Annie's Attic) "Vintage Floral Doilies." I am very proud of it, I think it turned out quite nicely. And to go with it, I am also giving away 12 balls of size 10 crochet thread in colors that are used in some of the doilies in the book (some of them are kind of hard to find, like the Sky Blue shaded thread that is used in the Swan doily and the Camel that is used in the baskets) and a Boye size 7 crochet hook, which is what I used to make all the doilies in the book. And to hold it all, I am adding a very special Spring Time Crochet Basket. Okay, it is really an Easter basket, but I think it is the perfect thing to carry around one of these doilies as you are working on it; say you want to go sit outside and crochet on a lovely spring day. Well, you can put all your supplies in this little basket and you are good to go!
Here is the book and the doilies that are in it:
Front Cover
May Baskets and Pineapples Doily
Serene Swans Doily (my personal favorite)
Sweet Southern Belle Doily Flirty Fan Doily Springtime Floral Doily (here is a bit of trivia for you; the working title of the book was "Springtime Floral Doilies." It was decided that title might be too limiting so "Vintage" was used in place of "Springtime"- TMI?) Butterfly Garden Doily May Basket DoilyHere is the leaning tower of crochet thread. Baby Pink, French Rose and Shaded Pinks- a pink lover's overload!
Mint Green and Lt. Green from Elmore Pisgah. Yes, I am giving away a ball of my precious Lt. Green thread. See how much I love you? Peach is great for the Southern Belle's arms. And I love to use this camel for baskets. I like Boyes...tee hee. Really, I would be lost without my size 7 Boye hook. I think it is perfect for working with size 10 cotton. Spring Time Crochet Basket



So, there you have the prizes. Now, here are the rules. Since I am a "keep it simple, stupid," kind of person, let's keep it simple, shall we?

1: Okay, here is what you do; leave me a comment telling me which of the doilies in the book you like best, and your email address (so I can notify you if you win.) UPDATE: Ravelry or Etsy id's are okay, too. Just so I have a way to contact you.

2: Follow my blog, and you get another entry (leave another comment saying "I follow your blog" so I don't have to look to see.)

3: Heart my etsy shop at bellacrochet.etsy.com and get another entry (leave another comment saying "I heart your Etsy shop.")

4: The contest will end at midnight, on Thursday, April 30, and I will announce the winner on May Day (May 1st). I will ship the prizes out by priority mail no later than Monday, May 4th. (UPDATE NOTE: the winner will be chosen at random by a drawing; I will print out all the comments, cut them apart and put them all in a hat or a crochet basket or something, then draw. Not high tech, but it should work!)

5: Unfortunately, this is going to be a pretty big box, so this contest is only open to residents of the U. S. As an alternative, if you live outside the U. S. and would like to enter, I can offer you your choice of any 6 patterns from my Etsy shop, to be sent to you as pdf downloads in email attachments as a prize. Not as cool as a basket full of thread, I know, but for now that is the best I can do.

That's it! Please bear in mind that I am new at this, so if I have forgotten anything I will fix it as soon I can. I have always enjoyed giving presents more than receiving them (well, I really like to receive them, too) so this is going to be great fun for me. I plan to have other giveaways, at least once a month, so please check back often. Tell your friends, and good luck!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I got a new camera!!!!!

It was driving me crazy not having my camera. So I decided to go ahead and get a new one; I have been thinking about it for a while now. I got a Canon PowerShot SX10 IS; I love it, even though I don't know how to use it. I have been reading the manual all afternoon; what the heck is shutter speed, and what does aperture mean? I don't know yet, but I am determined to learn.

One thing it has that I do know a little about is the macro setting; hey, this camera even has a super macro setting! This is what you use when you need to get very close up to a subject; like a crochet item you want to show the stitches on, for instance.

So, look what I have done so far:

Love that Super Macro!A butterfly from the potholder set. The colors look a little washed out in these pictures. I will have to see what I am doing wrong. Posies Hotpad, also from the infamous potholder set.

A close up (macro shot!!!) of the leaves on a little Rosebud baby hat I am working on. The whole hat.

I know, these photos are not very impressive. But I am determined to learn how to take decent photos.
And, since I have a camera, you know what that means!! That's right, contest time!!! Tomorrow or Tuesday, for sure!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The best laid plans....

Well, so much for my big plans for the blog this week. I was going to do a tutorial on how to do the eyelet foundation. I get more questions on it than anything else in any of my patterns. And I have everything all ready for my very first, Super Fantasic Thread Crochet Give Away!!!!!
Except for one very important thing: a camera to take pictures of it all. I left my camera at my daughter Amanda's house (where I had a wonderful weekend cooking, eating and playing with my babies, by the way) which is about 65 miles away. It is kind of hard to do a tutorial without pictures, and I don't know if anyone would want to enter a contest when they can't see what the prizes are. Hey, maybe I could have a "Mystery Crochet" contest! You could enter and just hope for the best, and hope I don't decide to send you all of my old leftover odd and end balls of thread and a bent crochet hook or something. No, nevermind, I want to show off the prizes; they really are pretty cool (if you like thread crochet, anyway). So the contest is postponed until I get my camera back, but I will try to find some extra goodies to add to the prizes to make the wait worthwhile.
Anyway, it is a beautiful day; I am going to spend the afternoon planting tomatoes and some gorgeous pink geraniums I found at Walmart this morning (I have a thing for pink geraniums). They are sooo pretty, I wish I could post a picture of them so you could see just how pretty they are. If I only had a camera.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!


I have had a terrible cold this week, thus the lack of posts, but I do want to let everyone know that my grandson, Gabe, is doing very well and should be running around and bouncing on his "jumpoline" (his word for trampoline) very soon. Thank you to everyone for the prayers and good wishes.

I have big plans for the blog next week; I want to do a tutorial on the eyelet foundation, and I plan to do my very first contest/giveaway!
But this weekend I am going to hunt eggs and celebrate Easter with my family. I hope you all have a very happy and blessed Easter!