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!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Little Crocheted Cottages

I love crocheting little cottages; one of the first "big" projects I ever made was a cottage from a pattern in an old Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It was made of dozens of little crocheted pieces that were supposed to be attached to  a plastic canvas frame, but my husband used the pc pattern to cut out a frame from plywood.  I  covered the plywood with muslin, and then sewed the crocheted pieces to it.
Through the years, I have designed several little cottages myself.

This is a set I designed for Annie's Attic back in the 90's.
And this is my English Country Cottage Cozy. I love the little kitty! 
And this is my Sweetheart Cottage. It is one of the "Grandmama's Favorite Decorative Potholders and Hot Pads" set.
I am planning to design another cottage for Christmas; it will be a gingerbread house, of course. I think it would be fun to make Hansel and Gretel and an old witch to go with it. I hope to have it ready this year, but if not, then there is always the next!

(and is anyone else having trouble posting to blogger lately? I have struggled for almost an hour just to get 3 pictures and this post to look right!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ordering and Downloading Patterns from BellaCrochet.com

 'Swan Lake Doily' pattern is available for free on my new website, http://bellacrochet.com/
You will need to create an account and go through the checkout process to download the pattern, but you will not be charged for it.

Many of you have purchased patterns from my etsy shop in the past, where I sent you your patterns attached to an email. Whenever  I go out of town, I must shut the Etsy shop down,  since I will not be there to email you your purchase. Now, on my new website BellaCrochet.com, you will receive a link to download your pattern immediately after payment. You no longer have to wait on me to email them to you! The process is a little different, so I thought I would explain how it works.
Here are the instructions posted on BellaCrochet.com.

Receiving your pattern(s)

After the payment transaction is completed your account will be updated with link(s) to your products. The link(s) will remain active for 7 days and you may download your product twice. Your order confirmation email will include a link to your order. If your account has not been updated with your links in 24 hours please contact us.

Once your downloads are activated, you may access them by logging on to your account, clicking on "My Account" in the bar at the top of the page and clicking on "view" for the order you wish to access. To access an older order click on "show all orders."

You will be allowed to download each of your products twice. When you click on the download button please choose "save" (Windows) or "save file" (Mac OS) to save your PDF to your computer.

For more information click on the "ordering" link in the "Important Links" section of my website BellaCrochet.com.
I think it will make ordering patterns much quicker and easier! If you have any questions, please email me at  ann@bellacrochet.com. I want your shopping experience to be as easy and pleasant as possible!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Hummingbird and Roses Doily is Finally Available

The Hummingbird and Roses Pineapple Doily is now available on my new site:
http://www.bellacrochet.com/index.php?main_page=document_product_info&cPath=3&products_id=30&zenid=cnlhfbmiurvmrcscokeobt2ef2
I want to thank the talented ladies who tested this pattern for me,
Linda Burrow, Dena Casey, Betty Stevens, and Jewel Fernley.
Thank you all for paying such carefull attention to the details! This is a much better pattern, thanks to you.

I had a lot of fun working on this doily. I think I may do another with blue birds on it.
This doily combines all the things I love about summer; beautiful roses, colorful butterflies, and of course, the busy little hummingbirds.
I hope you like it!