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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Woodland Fairy Sneak Peek

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a lovely time with my family, and it even snowed on Christmas Eve (which is very rare here in East Texas!) It didn't stick, but we all had fun running around in it trying to make snow balls off of what landed on the cars. I am back at home now, and hard at work on my Woodland Fairy. There has been some debate over whether she is a fairy or an elf. I think she must be a Fairy because she has wings. What do you think?
The pictures are not so good; it is dark and gloomy here today, and she is still in pieces on my blocking board (a cardboard box covered in plastic wrap!) But I hope this will give you an idea of what she will look like when she is finished: I have put lots of time into the details on this one, I must have made 20 snails before I got one I like. I really like her ears, although the first ones I made looked like horns! Adding the hair makes them look better.

I hope you like her!

Have a very Happy (and safe) New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Love Was Born at Christmas


Love came down at Christmas;
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Stars and angels gave the sign.
Christina Rossetti

Wishing you and yours a Christmas filled with love, peace and joy!
Love,
Ann

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Super Quick and Easy Scarflette: A free pattern for you

It is less than a week until Christmas! Are you ready yet? If you are like me, you probably have a gift or two that you still need to buy, but with time or money (or both) running out, what's a girl to do? I have an idea that just might come in handy in the last minute gift department.

This is my "Super Quick and Easy Scarflette." It is made with bulky yarn and a size K hook, so it works up very quickly. I made this version in under an hour, fringe and all. But if you are not into fringe, you can omit it, and be done even quicker. I think this version is more my style:
I love this old Sarah Coventry pin; it reminds me of my mother.
And you can wear it lots of different ways, too: A sophisticated, Audrey Hepburn-ish way to wear a Scarflette.
You can make a couple of them from one skein of Homespun yarn, so it is pretty economical as well (I would never call any thing I made "cheap"!!!!)

Super Quick and Easy Scarflette
by Elizabeth Ann White
for BellaCrochet


Size: About 6” x 27”, excluding fringe
Materials:
3 oz. Bulky weight yarn (Homespun from Lion Brand Yarns was used for model)
Size K crochet hook
Gauge:
5 dc = 2”
5 dc rows = 4 1/2”
Row 1: Ch 17, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across, turn. (First 3 chs count as first dc; 15 dc made)
Rows 2-30: Ch 3, dc in each st across, turn. At end of last row, fasten off. (15 dc in each row)
Fringe (optional)
Note: Fringe is worked in ends of rows on one side of Scarflette.
For each Fringe, cut 2 strands of yarn, each 12” long. Holding both strands together as one, fold strands in half. Insert fold in end of first row on one side of Scarflette. Pull fold about 3” through sp, insert ends of strands through fold. Pull ends to tighten. Fringe in end of each row across same side of Scarflette.
Now here is a super quick and easy way to make the fringe:

Measure around a dvd case or book to find one which has a circumference (I hope that is the correct word; I mean the measurement around it) equal to the length you want your fringe to be:We want each strand of our fringe to be 12" long, so this case will work nicely. Plus this is my favorite Christmas movie, so it I can watch it while I work! Wrap the yarn the number of times needed for the amount of Fringe you will need. We are putting two strands in the end of each row. There are 30 rows, so we will need to wrap the yarn 60 times around the case. Spread it out evenly, and don't wrap it too tightly.

Now cut the strands as evenly as possible. You can always trim the fringe after it is on the Scarflette if it looks too uneven.

Fold two stands of the cut yarn together for each fringe. Pull the fold through the end of the row with your hook. You will actually be working around the post of the last stitch on each row.

Pull the fold out a little.

Insert the ends of the fringe through the fold.

Pull the ends to tighten the fringe.

Here is another way to wear the Scarflette.

If you wanted to, you could sew 3 buttons to the Scarflette, and just push them through the stitches for buttonholes:
I hope you will enjoy this pattern. Merry Christmas!
Copyright BellaCrochet 2009. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Christmas Bonus

Betty's Tidings of Joy doily
Marie's beautiful doily

A while back, I did a post on Elizabeth Hiddleson, and how touched I was by a letter she wrote to her customers. In essence, it said something like "I publish my crochet designs to make a living, but it makes me feel wonderful to know that my designs are bringing happiness to you as well."
I have received several lovely emails recently, saying that many of you are making some of my designs as Christmas gifts. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me!
Betty wrote about her "Tidings of Joy" doily:
"I made this for an elderly lady that loves doilies. It brought tears to her eyes. I've never had a gift go over so well."
Thank you, Betty, reading your email brought tears to my eyes!
Marie made her doily as a gift for her daughter. She changed the design by omitting some of the poinsettias, which is what I hope everyone will feel free to do. Personallize them, and make them your own!
I put a lot of love into each one of my designs, and I hope it always shines through. I feel blessed to be able to crochet full time now, and I appreciate all of your support. Thank you all, for making it possible for me to do what I love!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gothic Joy

I was cleaning up my studio yesterday, and was stacking some doilies in a plastic box for storage (someday I really am going to frame them- maybe after Christmas.) I placed "Gothic Lace" in the box, then added "Tidings of Joy." I was surprised how the colors of the Christmas doily seemed to "pop" (I think that is a technical term, lol!) when placed on top of the black doily. Anyway, I really liked how they looked together so I took both doilies out, arranged them a little more carefully and took a few pictures. They are almost the same size, the Gothic Lace being just a little bit larger. They seemed to fit together nicely. Looking at them started me thinking: wouldn't it be cool do do some layered doilies, with a more traditional doily for the background and one of the Lovely Ladies Doilies on top of it?
"Tidings of Joy" meets "Gothic Lace" - maybe this can be the crocheter's version of "The Nightmare Before Christmas."Since the Lovely Ladies are kind of made in layers anyway, it wouldn't take that much more to add a separate doily background to one.
I like it; what do you think?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Little Gingerbread Boy and Girl; a free pattern for you


Are you ready for Christmas yet? I am almost finished with my shopping, I have the tree up and the decorating done, my cards went out a couple of weeks ago-so I guess I am as ready as I am going get.
But there are still a few things left to do, like baking cookies! Every year my grandchildren and I get together for a day of baking and decorating cookies- I look forward to it all year! We usually choose easy recipes, and put most of our time into decorating them. Truthfully, I am much better at crocheting than I am at baking!
So with that in mind, I decided to design a little crocheted gingerbread boy and girl as my second gift pattern to you this year. I think they turned out really cute!
The pattern is fairly easy; I wanted to make it all in one piece, but couldn't get it to look right. In this pattern, you only have to fasten off 0nce, so it is still pretty quick to make. Just like my real cookies, I spent much more time decorating them than I did actually making them! They are made with size 3 cotton; you can make them with 2 strands of size 10 thread held together as one if you cannot find size 3.

Gingerbread Boy and Girl Ornaments
by Elizabeth Ann White
for BellaCrochet

Size: About 2 1/2” long
Skill level: Intermediate
Materials:
25 yards brown size 3 cotton crochet thread (Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet Thread in Copper Mist was used for models)
10 yards white size 3 cotton crochet thread (for Girl's Skirt and mouths)
Scraps of red size 10 cotton crochet thread (for Bows)
Four 4mm white glass beads (for Eyes)
Six 4mm red glass beads
Fabric Glue
Toothpick for applying glue
Fray Check (available in the sewing department)
Heavy spray starch
Size 00 (3.5mm) Steel hook
Special Stitch:
For 2 tr cluster: (yo 2 times, insert hook in st or sp indicated, yo, pull hook through, yo, work off 2 loops, yo, work off next 2 loops) 2 times, yo, work off all 3 loops on hook

Rnd 1: With brown, starting at head, ch 4, 11 dc in 4th ch from hook, join with sl st in top of ch-4. (First 3 chs count as first dc; 12 dc made. Right side of first round is right side of work.)
Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each of first 3 sts; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (3 sc made)
Row 3: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st across, turn. (6 sc made)
Row 4: For first Arm, (ch 4, 2 tr cluster-see Special Stitch-, ch 4, sl st) in first st, sc in each of next 4 sts, for second Arm, (sl st, ch 4, 2 tr cluster, ch 4, sl st) in last st, do not turn. Fasten off.
Row 5: For Body, working in the 4-sc sts between Arms on Row 4, with right side facing, join with sc in first st, sc in same st as joining, sc in each of next 2 sts, 2 sc in last st, turn. (6 sc made)
Rows 6- 8 : Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.
Row 9: Ch 4, (2 tr cluster, ch 4) in second st, sl st in next st, (sl st, ch 4) in next st, (2 tr cluster, ch 4) in next st, sl st in last st. Fasten off.
For Girl's Skirt, with white size 3 cotton, ch 5, dc in 5th ch from hook, (ch 1, dc in same ch that the first dc was worked in) 4 times. Fasten off.
Finishing
Note: When gluing, it is helpful to place a small drop of glue to the end of a toothpick; this will allow you to apply the glue more precisely.
1: Place all crocheted pieces on a blocking surface; spray with heavy starch; shape and allow to dry.
2: Tie two small bows from red thread.
3: Glue white beads to Gingerbread Boy and Girl for eyes. Allow to dry.
4: Cut two small scraps of white thread for mouths. Touch ends of thread with Fray Check to prevent raveling. Allow to dry.
5: Glue white thread to Gingerbread Boy and Girl for mouths. Allow to dry.
6: Glue Skirt to Girl. Glue red beads to bodies. Glue bows as shown in photo. Allow all to dry. Glue ends of a folded 8" strand of red thread to back of head for hanger, if desired.
"Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!" "The Gingerbread Boy" was my son Sammy's favorite story when he was a little boy.

What a sweet little girl! I think I will call her 'Ginger'; maybe the boy can be 'Snap'?

I hope you will enjoy the pattern. Merry Christmas!

Copyright BellaCrochet 2009. All rights reserved.
NOTE FROM ANN:  If you would like to download this pattern in pdf form, please go to: freegingerbreadboy
You will need to create an account on BellaCrochet.com, and go through the check out process, but you will not be charged for the pattern (and you can see all my other free patterns while you are there!) Be sure to select "Save" to your computer when offered the option.
The pattern prints out to 5 pages; I added lots of pictures and used a large font. Thanks so much for visiting, and I hope you will enjoy the pattern!

These are affiliate links. If you buy thread through these links, I will receive a commission: 



Thursday, December 10, 2009

That's My Girl!

Although I am the proud Mama of 6, and Grandmama of 10 (with 2 more on the way!), I have never been able to convince any of my wild bunch to take up the art I love so well. The most any of them have ever done is make chains. My oldest daughter Robyn says she wants to learn, but with her busy life, we have just never found the time. Middle daughter Amanda says she doesn't have the patience, but maybe she will learn someday when she is old and has nothing better to do (she is teasing me!) But oh, joy, I think there may be hope for my baby, Bethany. She told me she wanted to learn to crochet, so on Thanksgiving I took a bag of yarn and some hooks to Amanda's house where we were all gathering. Following a family tradition, we decided Bethany should learn to crochet by making granny squares. She caught on very quickly! Now how do you hold the yarn?
I think I am catching on!Almost 4 rounds finished!I did it!This is what she did on Thankgiving day. She has called me every day since and updated me on her progress; she has not worked on it every day, but it is coming along nicely. She was so excited when she had completed rounds with every color of yarn that I had given her. "Now you can start all over with the colors and do more rounds in the same order," I told her, "or you can just do rounds of different colors at random." Bethany gasped. "Oh, no!" she said. "I have to put them in the same order as the first rounds, it would drive me crazy to have them all mixed up and out of order!" "You know, there is a kind of crochet called 'free form' where you just change stitches and colors and even yarn at random," I told her,"a lot of people love it!" "Not me!" said Bethany, "I have got to have order in my crochet!" I laughed and told her that was my feeling, too. I will never be a free former!She sent me this picture of her granny square yesterday.
I am so proud I could almost cry!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas Angel, a free pattern for you

I had planned to do a series of quick to make Christmas patterns, but as usual, things have not gone as I planned. But I do want to share with you the pattern for this sweet little angel. She is tiny, only about 2 1/2" long, but she makes a cute ornament for the tree or a nice little surprise to tuck into a Christmas card. I designed an Angel similar to this one a few years ago as part of a set of bookmarks I was making at the time. My daughter, Bethany pointed out that the earlier version had no arms, poor thing! This new and improved version does have arms, so I hope Bethany will approve!
The pattern requires knowledge of the basic crochet stitches, plus how to make both tr clusters and dc clusters, so it has a skill level of Intermediate. Still, it is very quick to make, and not really hard, just a little involved. After you make the first one, each following one will go much quicker!

Tiny Christmas Angel
by Elizabeth Ann White
for BellaCrochet

Size: About 2 1/2” long
Skill level: Intermediate
Materials:
25 yards size 10 cotton crochet thread
Fabric Glue
Heavy spray starch
Size 7 Steel hook

Special Stitches:
For 3 tr cluster: (yo 2 times, insert hook in st or sp indicated, yo, pull hook through, yo, work off 2 loops, yo, work off next 2 loops) 3 times, yo, work off all 4 loops on hook
For 2 dc cluster: Yo, insert hook in st or sp indicated, yo, pull through, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, yo, insert hook in same st or sp, yo, pull through, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, yo, pull through all 3 lps on hook

Angel
Rnd 1: Starting at head, ch 4, 11 dc in 4th ch from hook, join with sl st in top of ch-4. (First 3 chs count as first dc; 12 dc made)
Row 2: For this Row, work steps A-D:
A: For First Wing, (ch 4, 3 tr cluster-see Special Stitches,- ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, ch 4, sl st) in first st ;
B: For Dress Foundation, (sl st, ch 3, 2 dc) in next st, (2 dc, ch 3, sl st) in next st ;
C: For Second Wing, (sl st, ch 4, 3 tr cluster, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, ch 4, sl st) in next st;
D: For Halo, (ch 2, hdc in 2nd ch from hook) 5 times, sl st in last st of Rnd 1, fasten off.
Row 3: Join with sl st in top of first ch-3 on Dress Foundation, ch 4 (counts as first dc and ch 1), dc in next dc, (ch 1, dc in next dc) 4 times, turn.
Rows 4-6: Ch 4, dc in next dc, (ch 1, dc in next dc) across, turn.
Row 7: Ch 1, sc in first st, (ch 2, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next dc) across. Fasten off.
The individual pieces: Angel, Arms and Bow
For Arms, ch 3, 2 dc cluster (see Special Stitches) in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2, sc in second ch from hook (for hands), ch 3, 2 dc cluster in 3rd ch from hook, ch 1. Fasten off.
Place Arms on Angel as shown, glue in place. Spray Angel with heavy starch and allow to dry. For Bow, tie a 6" strand of thread into a bow; glue to Row 2 between Wings. Trim ends of thread. If desired, for hanging loop, glue ends of a folded 8" strand of thread to back of Rnd 1.
I hope you will enjoy her!
Copyright BellaCrochet, 2009. All rights reserved.

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NOTE FROM ANN: If you would like to download this pattern in pdf form, please go to: tinyangel
You will need to create an account on BellaCrochet.com, and go through the check out process, but you will not be charged for the pattern (and you can see all my other free patterns while you are there!) Be sure to select "Save" to your computer when offered the option.