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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Years Resolutions (for Crochet!)

Every year I make resolutions, but somehow they never work out; I still need to loose the same 20 pounds I did last year, and I still need to get organized. I just can't seem to stay motivated past February. Maybe if my resolutions were things I enjoy doing, I would have better luck. So this year, I am going to make some resolutions that will be fun to keep- crochet resolutions! Here is my list:

1: I will crochet for fun a little bit every day. As a professional designer, I spend most of my day with a hook in my hand, but I am always working on the next design. Seldom do I crochet anything that is not going to be a pattern that I will sell, and sometimes I miss just crocheting  for no particular reason. So I will just play around with something fun and relaxing for a little while everyday (and who knows, it could turn into a pattern book!)

2: I will learn some new stitches or techniques. I find myself using the same stitches in my designs over and over because I like them and I am comfortable using them. But I know in order to keep my designs fresh and exciting, I need to add new elements to them. So I will be looking for some new stitches to add to my repertoire. Any suggestions?

3: I will teach someone to crochet, and encourage everyone I can to try thread crochet. I get emails all the time saying "I love your designs, but I only crochet with yarn, not thread," and the most dreaded comment of all- "What you are doing is wonderful; thread crochet is a dying art!" I want the world to wake up and realize that not only is thread crochet NOT dying, it is just as easy as crocheting with yarn (and much more beautiful, in my opinion!)

Well, I think that is enough to start with, I don't want to overwhelm myself. I will let you know how I do on keeping them.
Have you made any crochet resolutions for 2011?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

 During this blessed Christmas season,
I wish you joy;

Quiet moments to reflect on the true meaning of the season;

  Blessings of love and peace;

      Childlike wonder;
                                               
And precious memories of Christmas' past.
May every joy of Christmas be yours!
Love,
Ann

Monday, December 13, 2010

Computer Blues

I got home from visiting my family a couple of weeks ago to discover that my computer had died; it just would not come on when I pushed the "start" button. I only slightly panicked, and David and I made a quick trip to Dallas to buy a new computer (braving the weekend-after-Thanksgiving traffic!)
I have an online backup service, so one of the first things I did was try to get all my files restored to my new computer; there were a few glitches, but for the most part, it worked well. The things I was most concerned about (my patterns and my pictures) were restored. If anything is missing, I haven't discovered it yet.
But I have been thinking about how much of my life is on this computer; every bit of my work for the last 6 years! I don't even have hard copies of most of my patterns. So, my early New Year's resolution is to get all my patterns backed up in another way (in addition to the online service) and to print out all of my patterns and put them in binders.
And I can't help but be struck by the contrast of my old fashioned crochet designs and modern day technology; this is where two worlds collide!
Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Crocheter's Christmas

A Crocheter's Christmas

T'was the week before Christmas
I was all in a tizzy
I had projects to finish;
I had to get busy!
My crochet hook flew
Like Santa's reindeer.
I must finish each item
Before Christmas got here.
I'd finished the angel for the top of the tree,
Now to make two more stockings; or did I need three?
Just a few more rows and Will's blanket would be done.
And I thought, if I hurried, I could make Lilly one.
The table was trimmed with a runner of lace
And I'd tucked a new tree skirt around the tree's base.
I'd made afghans and sweaters
and scarves by the score
Hats, gloves and mittens,
But I still needed more!
My hook flew faster;
There was no time to waste
As I worked each stitch in frantic haste.
I'd no time for singing carols this year.
And I decided to skip all the parties and cheer;
I was much too busy; Christmas was here!

Visions of doilies danced through my head;
I had to keep working;
No time for bed!
I'd finished one blanket and started another,
When a thump on the roof top made me look up in wonder.
And a crash from the chimney caused me to jump;
As Santa Claus landed in the floor with a bump!
I sprang from my chair in shock and surprise;
Santa Claus! I could hardly believe my eyes!
“But Santa!” I cried, “You are not due for a week!”
He dusted off his britches and started to speak.
“I've come early to give you a present, my Dear.
There is something you really need to hear.
You are so worried about the gifts and the giving
You are not taking time to just enjoy living.
The presents you make are lovely, it's true,
But what your family and friends really want is YOU!
So put down that hook, you've done enough for this year;
Christmas is a time to share love and good cheer.”
Then he gave me a hug, and up the chimney he flew.
And I dropped my crochet hook; I knew what I must do.
I had to get into bed right away;
Tomorrow would be such a busy day.
Baking cookies with the kids,
Visiting friends far and near,
Shopping and caroling,
And spreading good cheer.

I knew Santa was right;
I had lost sight of the reason
I crocheted so frantically
to brighten the season.
I had wanted each item I crocheted to be
An expression of my love for my friends and family.
But when it keeps me from sharing this joyous season,
I must set it aside (well, within reason!)

So, some of my gifts might not get finished this year,
But my Christmas will be filled with love and good cheer.
And to all of my friends, I just want to say
Merry Christmas to All, and Happy Crochet!
                                                    Elizabeth Ann White
                                                                  December 7,  2010

Copyright Elizabeth Ann White for BellaCrochet 2010.
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Every year at this time, I always pause to consider how very blessed I am, and to give thanks for the many things I am grateful for.
Of course, my family, friends, good health, and the blessing of living in a free and wonderful country come to mind right away.  
But I want you all to know that I am also so very grateful for you, my customers, fans and followers. I give thanks for you everyday. You make it possible for me to do what I love- designing and publishing my own crochet patterns.
There are so many thousands of beautiful crochet patterns available today, and I know you all  have so many options when it comes to purchasing patterns. It is humbling to me that anyone would actually spend their hard earned money on one of my designs. 
So, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I appreciate each and every one of you. You are making my dreams come true.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tips To Make Crocheting Easier

I am always looking for ways to make crocheting easier, and I love to hear tips from other crocheters. Here are a few that were shared by some of my Facebook friends. They were first published in my newsletter, but I know not every one receives it, so I wanted to share them here as well.

Does your crochet thread have you tied up in knots? Rebbeca Kimmons has a clever solution! She says: 'When working with tiny thread that tends to tangle, I take a fabric softener sheet and just gently run it across the thread. It seems to keep down all the mess. I use the ones that are scented like lavender, so it it makes my crocheting more relaxing.'
When Jewel Fernley is crocheting Irish roses, she finds it easier to make the chain rounds from the wrong side of the work.
Is working with small hooks hard on your hands? Sherry Wade has a great idea you might want to try. Sherry puts shrink tubing (which she buys in the auto department) on the handles of her hooks, and shrinks it to fit. Sherry says, “I use a lighter, and hold the hook with pliers. I run the flame back and forth until it holds to the hook.” Sherry says the tubing makes the hook much easier to grip.
And here is one from me: instead of regular stitch markers, I like to use bobby pins when working with yarn. They slip in and out of the stitches much easier. For thread items, I use a stand of contrasting color thread. This works especially well when working in rounds and marking the first stitch of the round. Just pull the marker strand up and through the first st as you go. The strand should slip out easily after the item is completed.
Do you have a favorite tip you would like to share? I would love to hear it!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Christmas in Gingerbread Land

My second Christmas design this year is called "Christmas in Gingerbread Land Decorative Potholders/Wall Art." I really love how sweet and cheerful they turned out, and can't wait until I can hang them up in my kitchen (I am making myself wait until after Thanksgiving!)
While this kind of item has traditionally been called "potholders" they are really just for looks, for "decorative purposes only." They are made from size 10 cotton thread, and are just not thick enough to protect your hands or counter tops from hot pans or dishes.
I have run across several folks (mostly crochet magazine editors who do not crochet) who just don't 'get' it. "But you can't really use that to pick up a hot pan, it is too thin, it has holes in it!" they exclaim. That is why I also like to add the label "wall art" to my thread potholder designs. After all, I think they are little works of art, why not display them as such?
Anyway, I hope you like "Christmas in Gingerbread Land!"

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

 Can you believe it is less than two months until Christmas? I can't, but it seems to me that this whole year has just flown by. But, I have managed to get the eighth Lovely Ladies doily finished and listed on BellaCrochet.com. In keeping with my love of super long names, it is called "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." This is the first time I have tried to design a male figure, and it was a lot of fun. I have all kinds of ideas for new doilies now; I can't wait to do a bride and groom!
Here are "The Littlest Angels" who are the gift pattern that comes with purchase of the doily pattern. I think they turned out so sweet!
I hope you like them!
Here is the link:
Godrestyemerrygentlemen

Monday, November 01, 2010

Shirley Brown: A Crocheter In the Know!

While you might not recognize her name, if you have ever purchased a pattern from Annie's Attic or any of it's sister companies, you are probably familiar with Shirley Brown's work. Shirley is a technical editor for DRG, and does the technical editing for 'Crochet! Magazine,' as well as the crochet pattern books and leaflets. Since she began her career as a technical editor for Annie's Attic in 1988, Shirley has literally edited thousands of crochet patterns, in addition to many plastic canvas and a few knit and cross stitch patterns.
I first met Shirley in 1996, when I went to work in the Editorial Department of Annie's Attic, in Big Sandy, Texas. I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated by her at first. But I soon found out that behind her strongly voiced opinions and no-nonsense demeanor, there beat a heart of pure gold, and she quickly became one of my dearest friends. Shirley has kindly agreed to take a few minutes out of her busy schedule and answer a few questions about the technical side of crochet.

BC: How (and when) did you learn to crochet, Shirley?

Shirley: I am not sure of the when, somewhere in the 60's. My mother-in-law taught me to crochet. I think the first thing I crocheted was an edging to go around a dresser scarf. My mother-in-law got tired of doing the crochet trim so she told me I had to do my own. I learned with a size 12 steel hook. For a long time that was the only hook I had and I used it with everything, including yarn.

BC: How did your career as a technical editor begin?

Shirley: I started out as a tester. In January of 1988, I answered a newspaper ad for Annie's Attic. For my interview, I was given yarn, a crochet hook, paper and pencil and told to crochet and write a pattern for a leaf that was in a lily pond. I worked as a tester for about 6 months and then began to write patterns under another editor. I then went into verification (which meant that I checked the patterns that others had written) before I actually became a pattern editor.

BC: Do you have any guidelines you follow when you are editing a pattern?

Shirley: I always try to make each pattern as easy as I can for the customer.

BC: What was the hardest pattern you ever edited?

Shirley: Well, there have been several, but I think the one that stands out in my mind was a crocheted Noah's Ark. It was the complete ark with all the people and animals.

BC: Have you ever come across one you couldn't do?

Shirley: No, not really

BC: What is the most difficult part of your job?

Shirley: Making sure every thing is correct, which is why I have Nina Marsh (a good friend and another crochet editor) come and help me with the magazine and larger projects. She is very good at finding errors. 

BC: What is the is the best part?

Shirley: I like it when a customer calls or writes to tell us she likes our patterns and that they are easy to work. Also I help with Pattern Services for DRG and I enjoy talking to customers and helping them with their problems. And it is a great pleasure to work with so many different and great designers. I really do enjoy my work and working with others.

Shirley has been married to her delightful husband Bill for 52 years. They are proud of their family, which includes 2 children, 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. They enjoy traveling all over the world, and have taken cruises to the Holy Land, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Right now they are getting ready to leave on a train trip and cruise to Alaska. But before you know it, Shirley will be back at her computer, turning out those wonderful and easy to follow patterns

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

from Mcbeth
by William Shakespeare

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Facebook Contest

I am having a contest over on my Facebook page. I will be giving away copies of all 7 of my Lovely Ladies Doilies pdf patterns to one lucky winner. The winner will also receive the gift patterns that come with each one, so that makes a total of 14 patterns.
To enter, visit my Facebook page at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/BellaCrochet/195106893710 and leave a comment at the end of the post that starts: "Wow, I have over 1000 fans!"
I will choose a winner at random on Friday morning. I hope to see you on Facebook, and good luck!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rescuing a Dream

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about a tablecloth I made, and how it was stolen during a move. Since I wrote that post, I have been thinking a lot about my tablecloth. It makes me sad that I no longer have it, and I must face the fact that I will probably never take the time to make another one. I actually thought about paying someone to crochet me another one from the pattern, but it just would not be the same. But after lots of reflecting on the tablecloth, and what it meant to me, I have come up with an idea.
My main feeling about my lost tablecloth is that I hope it somehow ended up with someone who appreciates it, who uses it on special occasions and takes pride in it.  And I am sure that everyone who spends so much time working on a big project feels the same way about theirs.
So here is my plan:  I am going to buy a vintage tablecloth off of Ebay. My thought is that I will be rescuing someone else's  dream. I know that for every tablecloth made, someone spent hours and hours, months, even years creating it, all the while dreaming about the holiday dinners that would be served on it, and planning whom they would leave it to when they no longer needed it. Perhaps it was made as a wedding gift for a loved one, or even to be placed in a hope chest. Every tablecloth has it's own special story. I am sure the crocheter never dreamed their beautiful creation would end up on Ebay (or that there would ever be such a thing!)
As I search through the listings, I notice many come from estate sales. But some are listed as "made by my grandmother" which makes me so sad I could cry; don't these people realize what they are selling?  I want to send them a message, telling them they are selling a heirloom, but I mind my own business. Maybe one of these tablecloths will be the one I decide to buy.
I don't have any certain style I am looking for, although I do love filet, and if it has roses in the design so much the better. But I also like the pineapple designs and the ones made from thousands of little motifs.
One thing that bugs me is the number of items listed as "hand crocheted" which are not crocheted at all, but machine made lace. But I am sure the person listing it has no idea what it really is, and 'crochet' is as close a discription they can get.
Anyway, it is great fun to search the listings, and imagine who made all these lovely items, every single one someone's dream.  I will let you know when I find and purchase the perfect one; but then again, I might not be able to stop at just one.
Wouldn't it be great to have a tablecloth collection?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Workbasket

 I love looking at old Workbaskets from the 40's and 50's. In addition to some really cool old crochet patterns, there are articles on growing geraniums and African violets, and recipes for things like 'peanut butter and bacon canapes' and 'grapefruit coffeecake'.
But what is really the most interesting, at least to me, are the advertisements. They  give one quite an interesting glimpse into the past.
 There are lots of ads for items designed to make crocheting easier. "Croch-Aid"; how's that for a clever name for a product? Though I am not quite sure what is supposed to do; does it just hold your thread or is there something I am missing? 

 And who knew Betty White was a crocheter? I would like to try one of her rings, though.


As you can see, women have always been interested in trying to stay slim and beautiful.
Just think, you only have to wear this for 15 minutes a day! I can just imagine David's reaction if he saw me wearing this contraption. I am sure it would be quite Thrilling!



I remember looking at these ads for dolls when I was little; I loved dolls (and I still do! ) I actually convinced my mother to order me the dolls in the "Real Dolls 1 Penny Each" ad. I was so excited; imagine, a hundred dolls! My mother warned me they would probably be too small to really play with, but I was absolutely certain they were going to be wonderful. "Just look," I pointed out to my mother, "most of them are almost as big as the girl in the picture!" I raced to the mail box every day for months, but the package never arrived. And maybe that is just as well. I am sure the 'real dolls' would never have lived up to the dolls in my dreams!
At least I didn't beg Mama to order me a pet through the mail!
At first this ad made me laugh, then I started to worry how many little dogs died while being shipped. Surely this was illegal, but maybe not. I wonder what my friend Pamela, aka Crochethuahua, would think of giving dogs away in order to sell copies of pictures. Her little "miniature dog" Ginger is her baby!
Anyway, that's all for today, except to say if Blogger doesn't do something to make it easier to post pictures I will  be moving the blog to a new location soon. It takes a couple of hours to do a simple post with pictures anymore!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cherokee Rose Tablecloth

Many years ago (about 1991) when my eyes were much better than they are now, I made a tablecloth. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to use size 20 thread and a size 10 hook. I spent a week charting out the design with a pencil on 4 sheets of graph paper that I had taped together. Then I spent the next 4 months crocheting it, working on it about 8 hours every day. At this time, I had 5 children and was expecting my 6th (and last, Bethany) so how I had the patience to do it I do not know.
I called it "Cherokee Rose" after the  roses that grew wild in the woods near my home. I sold the design to Annie's Attic and it was published in a book called "Keepsake Tablecloths." If I told you how much I was paid for the design, you would think I was crazy (it worked out to pennies per hour.) But I was very proud of it. I only used the tablecloth one time, when my daughter Robyn got married. Then I wrapped it up and packed it away.
Years later, when I was in the process of moving, someone stole the tablecloth along with some other items it was packed with. Why anyone would want to steal a tablecloth, I do not understand, but then again, I don't understand why anyone would steal anything.
But that is the story of my tablecloth. The end.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Fall, Y'all!

I love Fall!
I made a new floral arrangment to place on my Grandmother's old treadle sewing machine this morning, and lit a pumpkin spice candle. It is still pretty warm here in Texas, but I know it won't be long until we get some cooler weather.
Can you see the Black Widow doily under the pitcher? It doesn't show up very well, but I wanted to use it anyway.
Hope you are having a lovely day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunflower Dish or Wash Cloth, a Free Pattern

If you missed the Sunflower Dish or Wash Cloth pattern in the first issue of the BellaCrochet newsletter, you can still get a copy here:
SunflowerPattern
You will need to sign into your account (or create one if you have not already) and go through the check out process, but you will not be charged for the pattern. Please remember to select "Save" and not "Open" when given the option. Once it is saved to your computer, you will be able to open it when ever you like.
Remember, all my patterns (even the free ones) are for your personal use only, and may not be shared or distributed in any way.
Which brings me to another thing I would like to mention. If you know of anyone who is distributing any of my patterns illegally, please contact me and you may be eligible to receive a reward (kind of like a bounty hunter!!!) If I determine that you are correct, and the person is distributing any of my patterns (even the free ones) you will receive your choice of any 5 (FIVE!!!) patterns from my website. Of course you will remain completely anonymous! You can contact me at : bellacrochet.info@yahoo.com
Thanks for your help!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

 Double, Double, Toil and Trouble is now available on BellaCrochet.com!
Here is the Black Widow Doily, that comes with it. I really love the spiderwebs, even though they are a pain to write!
Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Something New or Tried and True?

As a designer, I have my favorite stitches, techniques and ways of doing things.  I have  a collection of different roses, leaves and butterflies that I have used in several different designs. I also have my formulas for basic shapes (circles, squares, ovals) memorized. It makes life easier and projects turn out the way I envision them (usually!) Some of my favorite discoveries in the past have been the Eyelet Foundation, love knots and the sc shell stitch, all of which I now use regularly in my designs.
But sometimes, I just get in the mood to try something new. If I like it, I add to to my repertoire. If I don't, well then, that is the end of that! I know in order to keep my designs fresh, I need to add new elements to them. While I hope I have a distinctive style that my customers will recognize, I don't want my designs to get stale and predictable! And through the years, I have learned that just because something is complicated or hard to do doesn't mean it is good;  sometimes, the simplest things are the best.
Lately, I have been doing a lot of designs in sc ribbing stitch. Basically, you just work rows of sc stitches in the back loops only. But I love the texture of the fabric it creates. I love how it is so simple, yet gives such an elegant, sophisticated look to the finished design. I designed this Sweet and Simple Scarflette to be the gift pattern that will come with some of my new designs that will be released soon. It is so quick and easy to make that I was afraid it was too simple, so I added a little rose to go with it. I really like how it turned out, so versatile and sweet. I hope you like it too!

Update: The Sweet and Simple Scarflette pattern is now available for free here on the blog:
Sweet and Simple Scarflette

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Black Widow

This is the gift doily that will come with the purchase of 'Double, Double, Toil and Trouble.'  I love the 'spider web' design, but have not used it much in the past. It reminds me of Elizabeth Hiddleson, who used it a lot in her designs.
I realized when writing the pattern that spider webs are actually harder to write than pineapple patterns; or maybe I am just used to writing pineapple patterns.
Anyway, I like how it turned out, and I hope you do, too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble!

Here is the 7th of my Lovely Ladies Doilies. It is called "Double, Double, Toil and Trouble."

It should be available in about a month. It has been really fun to work on. I hope you like it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BellaCrochet Newsletter

The first issue of the BellaCrochet Newsletter will be sent out later this week. If you have not already signed up to receive it, you can do so here:
Newsletter sign up
It will contain tips to make crocheting easier, articles about people who have crochet-related careers and the pattern for the Sunflower Dish Cloth pictured here.
I am not sure how often the newsletter will come out right now. I will send one out to announce the addition of new designs, which should be at least once a month.
I hope you will enjoy it!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

My Favorite Crochet Threads

I have been asked several times this weekend what brand of thread I use for my designs. I have to admit, I usually use whatever brand comes in the color I need for a particular design. But I do have a couple of favorites that I use whenever possible. Since I live in a rural area, it can be difficult to find thread locally, so I usually must order what I need.
I love America's Best, Art. 74p, from Pisgah Yarn and Dyeing Company, which I order here:  America's Best
They have a beautiful range of colors, and I love working with it. Check out #50, Plum! And I never let myself run out of #55 Light Green or #323 Mint Green Ombre. In fact, all of their ombre colors are gorgeous!

I also love Royale Classic Crochet Cotton, which I can often find in basic colors locally. For a greater color selection, I order from this site: Royale
They carry my all time favorites, #15 Shaded Pinks and #493 - French Rose and #401  Orchid Pink (can you tell I love pink?)

I have ordered from both of these companies numerous times (in fact I will be placing an order later today.) I  have always been pleased with their service and  received my orders promptly.

 I want to mention that I am not affiliated with these companies in any way, and do not receive any compensation for mentioning them on my blog. I know that color is an important element in all of my designs, and I want you to be able to find the colors you need!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Ripples, Ruffles and Roses is Now Available

 The Ripples, Ruffles and Roses Doilies set is now available on bellacrochet.com. Here is the link:
 
The set includes Rippling Waters,
Angel Face Ruffles,
Rose Petal Ruffles,
Sunshine and Blue Skies,
And Ripples 'Round the Rosie.

The gift pattern with this set is the Flutter-bys Doily, which I am beginning to think is more popular than all the other ones.
My friend Jewel asked me "why is there one yellow butterfly?"
I am not sure, I just thought it would be cute to have one that was just a little bit different from the others. I like it.
And I hope you will like this set of doilies.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Jewel's Cro-tat Crinoline Lady

My friend Jewel sent me this picture today of a sweet little cro-tatted Crinoline Lady she made in lovely colors of burgundy and pink. Jewel is so talented, and I never know what she will come up with next. Sometimes she sends me a picture of something and I have to ask her if it is one of my designs or not; I really can't remember some of the things I designed. But I did recognize this little lady; she was in a set of Cro-tat patterns that I did several years ago.
Thanks for sharing, Jewel. You did a beautiful job!

Monday, August 02, 2010

My African Violet

My African Violet is blooming; what a sweet sight on a Monday morning!
At one time, I had over a dozen different varieties of violets. Now, I have just this one, which is over 6 years old now, but still blooms regularly for me.  All I ever do is give it water once and a while.
I hope your week is filled with pretty things!

Friday, July 30, 2010

What Makes a Good Pattern?

I have been thinking a lot about my patterns lately. I want them to be the best they can possibly be, and work very hard to make them so. I worked for two years as a technical editor for Annie's Attic, where I learned the basics of pattern writing. But since I have been self-publishing, I have not followed the style I was taught exactly, but changed and added whatever I felt was needed to make the patterns better and easier to understand. Using testers has given me new insight into what crocheters like and want in a pattern. More stitch counts at the ends of the rows/rnds is one thing they suggested, and so  I have added more of them to my patterns.
I also add pictures whenever it is a little tricky to explain just exactly what I am trying to get across. This is something I learned from the old Elizabeth Hiddleson patterns, which can be a challenge to follow, but her clear pictures always help show just what she wants you to do. And I write notes of explanation whenever I feel they are needed.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas that might make my patterns better? I am always willing to try new things to make them easier to follow, and I love getting feedback. Thanks for any suggestions!