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Friday, October 30, 2009

Tips for Working a Complicated Pattern


Have you ever come across a pattern that has you pulling your hair out, because you just can't seem to get it right? Maybe you keep loosing your place, looking back and forth from your work to the pattern; maybe you are not sure if you are on the 5th repeat or the 6th. Maybe you have finished the whole thing and realize it is wrong, and you are going to have to rip it all out. Pure Frustration!

I have a couple of little tips for you that might help in some of these situations.

This week, my testers and I have been discussing the best way to write the pattern for the little Scottie dog in my new pattern "Lucy and Jack's Afternoon Stroll." Besides being made with black thread, there are also a lot of different things going on in a very small space, which can sometimes make a pattern a little confusing.

The first tip is something that an editor once told me to try, and I am going to recommend it to everyone working this pattern (or any pattern that requires many different steps.) The tip is simply to have someone read the pattern out loud to you, row by row and stitch by stitch as you are crocheting. Even if they don't crochet, they can read the pattern slowly, pronouncing the abreviation of the name of each stitch. For example they will say "S C in next 3 S T S"; and you will know what they are talking about. Ask them to pause until you nod your head or give them another signal to continue reading.

The second tip is, when working with thread, and you need to mark stitches or ends of rows, use a strand of contrasting color thread as the marker. Use your hook to pull it through the first stitch to be marked; if marking the first st of each round, or even numbered rows (as in the Scottie pattern) do not cut the thread, but continue to pull it through each stitch to be marked. This is much easier than trying to use traditional stitch markers, and the marker strand slips out easily from the piece when it is no longer needed.
I hope these little tips will help you; you know I love anything that makes my crocheting easier!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

LoisLeigh's Angel

Lois Anderson has done it again! She has created a design so cute I had to buy it. I think I am her biggest fan- I should at least be in the top 10.This is Lois's Angel bookmark- simply beautiful! I love her little horn!

She would be so lovely hanging on the Christmas tree.
But I plan to display her year round; wouldn't she be sweet perched on the edge of my computer screen? And what a wonderful gift she would make!
(sorry, I don't know how to make that link smaller)
and in Lois's Etsy shop:
AndersonsCreations.etsy.com
And while I am embarrased to admit that I still have not made the Mermaid bookmark I bought from Lois, (or Little Red Riding Hood) it hasn't stopped me from adding more of her wonderful patterns to my collection!
Beautiful design, Lois, please keep up the good work!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Tip for working with Black Thread, and a peek at Lucy and Jack

Does it ever hurt your eyes to crochet with black thread, or do you just have trouble seeing the stitches? Next time, try placing a white pillowcase (or any white fabric) in your lap as you work. The contrast of the white background seems to make the stitches much easier to see. This also works in reverse, when using white or light colored thread, place a dark colored piece of fabric in your lap. As I get older, I find my eyes appreciate any little thing I can do to make their work easier.
And as I promised, here is the next in my "Lovely Ladies Doilies" series. This is the first of the "Vintage Vignettes" and it is called "Lucy and Jack Go For a Stroll" or something like that. I still have to make the collar and leash and do the finishing touches on it, but I hope to have it out for testing later this week.
I love Scottie dogs, and have wanted to make this doily for quite some time. I think it is turning out nicely. I hope you like it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Think Pink" Winner

The winner of my "Think Pink" contest is Anne from over at: http://raggedykisses.blogspot.com/
What a cute blog she has! If you love Raggedy Ann dolls, granny squares, or unbelievably cute crochet (and I love all three!), you have got to check it out!
I will be mailing the box of goodies out to her in the morning.
I want to thank everyone who entered the contest; I wish I could send prizes to every single one of you!!!
Thanks again, everyone!
Love,
Ann
P.S. I will be posting some sneak-peek pictures of my new doily sometime this weekend. It is a crinoline lady walking a Scotty dog; I think it is turning out really cute!

We have a winner!

I just want to let everyone know that the winner of the "Think Pink" contest has been drawn, and I have sent her an email letting her know. I am now waiting to hear back from her.

I want to thank everyone for entering. I truly appreciate you all!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pink is my favorite color: A CONTEST!!!!!

I know, I know; you thought I was just pulling your leg when I said I was going to have another contest, didn't you? But just look at all the goodies I am going to give away: Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought it would be the perfect time to give away a copy of "Think Pink: Crochet for the Cure" published by DRG Publishing (Annie's Attic). This book is very special to me. It was one of the last books I worked on before I left DRG.
My "Lacy Reader's Wrap" is on page 46. I am giving away 4 skeins of Caron's Simply Soft yarn in Soft Pink; more than enough for you to make this lovely wrap. Well, I guess you can use the yarn to make something else if you really want to, there are lots of other cool projects in the book.

I am also giving away some tapestry needles and a set of pink hooks (well, they are kind of "pinkish"). And do not fear, my beloved threadies, I am also giving away a size 7 steel hook. Because you can never have too many hooks. And 4 balls of America's Best size 10 crochet thread in Baby Pink.

So to enter, here is what you do:
Leave me a comment telling me what YOUR favorite color is. And please make sure I have a way to contact you if you win; an email address or your Blogger, Etsy or Ravelry ID will be fine.
Want a second entry? Follow my blog and leave me a SECOND comment saying "I follow your blog." If you already do follow my blog, that counts, too.
For a third entry, go to my Etsy shop at bellacrochet.etsy.com and add me to your favorite shops. If you have already done this, that counts too. Leave me a THIRD comment saying "I heart your Etsy shop."
The contest will run for a week, and end at midnight on October 14, 2009. I will draw a winner from all the entries and notify the winner on Oct. 15th. I will ship out the package no later than the 16th.
Due to the high cost of postage, this contest is open only to residents of the U.S.
Thanks everyone, and good luck!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


I sometimes tell people that I am a one woman operation, doing everything from designing to filling orders all by myself. But that is not exactly true anymore.

I took a big step forward with my last couple of designs, and had them tested by a group of very talented and experienced crocheters. Even though I had read over the patterns several times, they caught things that I had missed, and that would have surely come back to haunt me!

So I would like to thank Vicki Mashburn, Diana Mitchell, Karen Misiunas and Pamela Tasny for lending their amazing talents and eye for detail to testing these patterns. I know they are now of a much higher quality for having had these ladies test them.

I truly appreciate the time and effort they put into the patterns, and I know my customers will surely thank them, too!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Butterflies and Roses Pineapple Doilies are in my shop!

I have just finished adding the "Butterflies and Roses Pineapple Doilies" to my Etsy shop. I hope you will like them.





Thank you, Marie, for purchasing the first copy!!!!!
And thank you, to all of you, my wonderful customers, for making my dreams come true.
Love,
Ann

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